The sooner the better - help children and young people manage emotional wellbeing

Easing the pressures on children and young people by teaching them how to manage their emotional wellbeing should be a priority, said Samaritans CEO Ruth Sutherland.

“In Children’s Mental Health Week we all need to be more aware of the need to support children to meet the challenge of life’s ups and downs, and prepare them to get through tough times,” said Ruth.

“No one is born knowing how to deal with emotions. You have to learn, and some people find it harder than others. However, it is as important as learning to read and write, and we want to help children grow up to be resilient in the face of life’s traumas and setbacks,” Ruth added.

Samaritans’ provides Developing Emotional Awareness and Listening (DEAL) lesson plans which can be downloaded by secondary schools in England.

They are aimed at children over 14 and encourage help-seeking behaviour, the value of talking through your problems, dealing with challenges such as divorce, exam stress and questions about sexuality, and supporting friends and relatives who are struggling.

In Children’s Mental Health Week, Samaritans CEO Ruth Sutherland also highlighted the need for schools to be prepared to deal with a suicide.

“Heads often tell us that they had never imagined a suicide happening in their school and they wish they had been better prepared,” said Ruth.

“Samaritans volunteers work with schools in the aftermath of a suicide and help them to manage what can be one of the most devastating things that can ever happen to a school,” Ruth said.

Children’s Mental Health Week runs from 6-12 February 2017, and the theme is Spread a Little Kindness.

For further information, spokespeople and case studies, please contact Samaritans’ press office on 020 8394 8300 or press@samaritans.org. 07943 809162 out of hours

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Notes to editors:

  • You don’t have to be suicidal to call us. Whatever you’re going through, call us free any time from any phone on 116 123 (this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill), email jo@samaritans.org, or visit www.samaritans.org to find details of your nearest branch.
  • It’s the public’s kind donations and more than 21,000 trained volunteers that mean Samaritans is always there for anyone struggling to cope.  Find out how you can support us: http://www.samaritans.org/support-us