Two knitted puppets sitting by a window

Children’s Mental Health Week 2024 

by roundabout

Our dramatherapy sessions create a safe space to explore difficulties and trauma, and support children by helping them reduce anxiety and other mental health issues. 

This year’s theme is ‘My Voice Matters’. Place2Be set up Children’s Mental Health Week 10 years ago and this year’s theme is ‘My Voice Matters’. “My Voice Matters is about empowering children and young people by providing them with the tools they need to express themselves” 

Research from The Children’s Society has shown that “In the last three years, the likelihood of young people having a mental health problem has increased by 50%.” And that early years support reduces pressure on the NHS. 

What is Mental Health from Mind

Mental health is about how we think, feel and act. Just like physical health, we all have it and we need to take care of it. 
Our mental health is on a spectrum which can range from good to poor: 

  • With good mental health, we can think positively, feel confident and act calmly. 
  • With poor mental health, we might find that the way we’re thinking, feeling or acting becomes difficult to cope with. We might not enjoy things we used to like doing. We might feel sad or angry for longer than usual. Or we might feel like we can’t control how we feel or behave. 

Dramatherapy can help children to have good mental health

  • Expression of Feelings: a safe place for children to explore emotions 
  • Reduction in Anxiety: a noticeable reduction in anxiety through coming to the sessions, facilitated by the repeated structure of sessions 
  • Improved Social Skills: gaining better social skills and behaving more appropriately, with role play providing a short cut to learning and practicing these skills 
  • Increased Confidence: increasing confidence and sense of self-worth secured by praise from dramatherapists and one to one attention 
  • Impact of Classroom Behaviour: changed behaviour in class particularly towards school work in terms of improved attitude and motivation 
  • Supporting Families: supporting the whole system around the child 
  • Improved Relationships With Peers: being included and making friends 

My Voice Matters

Roundabout’s directors co-authored the book Child Agency and Voice in Therapy, which examines the concepts of child agency and voice and how they relate to children who are attending arts therapies. The book includes discussion on how to “recognise and listen to children as ‘experts’ in therapy, drawing on their insider knowledge to benefit their own therapy and the wider field”.

The team of dramatherapists at Roundabout set goals with the children they support and evaluate the impact of their dramatherapy support together with the young people.

“You listen to me here, I can get help with my feelings and have some fun too”