Children’s Mental Health Week

Children’s mental health week was launched in 2015 by Place2Be, to shine a spotlight on the importance of children and young people’s mental health. Even without the effects of the pandemic, an increasing number of children and teens are suffering from mental health problems – ranging from anxiety disorders, depression, to self-harm and addiction – the wonderful news is, there’s so much we can do to help children grow up to be strong, confident, resilient and happy adults.

The human givens approach provides a simple, yet highly effective, practical framework for life. Our approach is used by therapists, teachers, counsellors, social workers, school counsellors and partners to help improve the lives and wellbeing of children and young people.

Place2be and Human Givens

Inga Springell, HG Therapist and School Project Manager for Place2Be describes in this case study how the Human Givens approach supports her project and practice, working with children and young people and the wider school community.


Add a new string to your bow – acquire the skills and knowledge you need to help children thrive, as quickly as possible, with Human Givens College.

Every day in a hundred small ways our children ask, ‘Do you see me? Do you hear me? Do I matter?’ Their behaviour often reflects our response.”

L.R. Knost.

My Voice Matters 

The theme this year is, My Voice Matters – empowering children and young people by providing them with the tools they need to express themselves freely, without interruption, comparing their experiences to our own, or trying to find an immediate solution. Place2Be asked children what they need from schools to support their mental health and this is what they said:

‘Please listen to me carefully and acknowledge how I am feeling – it might seem silly to you but what I am going through is important to me.’

‘Sometimes a hug is all it takes to make me feel supported.’

Find out more by visiting:

Language is key to everything we do – being aware of the power of language is essential when we’re trying to help children. Knowing how to use it well can make all the difference. Learn how to listen and respond effectively by joining our inspiring masterclass – The Therapeutic Power of Language

Let’s Connect

In 2023, Children Mental Health Awareness Week focused on one of our innate emotional needs – feeling part of a wider community…

Humans have evolved to be social creatures and we thrive in communities – this connection is vital for our health, well-being, and our survival.

When our need for healthy social connections is not met, we can feel isolated and lonely – loneliness has adverse emotional and physical effects on both the brain and body.

Explore our need to connect with others here >

Children (and adults) whose 9 emotional needs are met in a healthy, balanced way do not suffer mental health problems. Childhood/ life can be difficult, complex and daunting at times, and sadly many children are struggling with low self-esteem, depression, anger, self-harming behaviours and anxiety. Therefore we must understand their emotional needs to support their development and enable them to fully enjoy their childhood, gain valuable life skills and grow to become their best…

Do you know your 9 emotional needs?

To find out more visit:

Miriam Chachamu tutor photo

An important message from Miriam Chachamu…

Family psychotherapist and human givens practitioner

The importance of self-expression 

“Encouraging children to express themselves freely, without judgement or criticism is very important. As children grow up, they tend to worry more about what people think and can lack confidence. Parents and teachers must encourage children to express themselves without creating blocks”.

Discover three common mistakes excellent parents and teachers unwittingly make – watch Miriam’s video to find out more.

An important message from Miriam Chachamu – family psychotherapist and human givens practitioner…

Miriam - Growing together - Video thumbnail

watch the video here >

Psychological Growth 

Knowing how to grow psychologically as parents and families is vital – as well as understanding how to overcome your own difficult childhood experiences so that you can be a better parent to your children… Miriam highlights two potential pitfalls and shares seven suggestions to help you and your family grow together in her latest video – how to grow psychologically as parents and families >

Reasons for children's challenging behaviour graphic

Growing Together

“As our children, or the young people in our care, mature, we need to make sure we adapt our style too. Tempting as it may be to become more authoritative as behaviour gets more challenging, we need to try to resist this instinct. As the child gets older, we should aim for a less authoritative style, enabling the young person’s growing needs for autonomy, control and status to be met.

Don't forget, as the young person in your life changes, you will need to change too ..."

Richard Brook, HG tutor

Try to be the coach in being an adult, giving the young person the opportunity to reach conclusions for themselves and helping them to solve problems in a more adult way, rather than taking responsibility away from them. In every teen voice there are likely to be both a child’s voice and an adult’s voice – try to talk to the adult’s voice, and it is more likely to be the adult’s voice that will talk back.”

Richard Brook is a lecturer in Social Work at the University of East Anglia, where he teaches a postgraduate module for qualified social workers on working with adolescents. He has over 20 years experience of working with children and families, young offenders and adolescents with emotional and behavioural difficulties, and parents.

Would you like to work effectively with troubled teenagers? Listen as Richard Brook as he explains what you will gain by attending his 1-day live workshop... 

“Ask the Expert” podcasts

Our mental health and wellbeing podcast series features human givens professionals talking about their own specialist area of expertise. Each one offers useful information and effective tips for improving emotional health and wellbeing gleaned from their many years of experience. They include:

Is screen time impacting children’s physical and mental health?
– featuring Dr Aric Sigman

Improving mental health for young people – one step at a time
– featuring Alex Kennedy

How can we improve children’s behaviour?
– featuring Miriam Chachamu

Why every childhood is worth fighting for
– featuring Chris Dyas, Children’s Social Worker of the Year (2018)

Listen to “Ask the Expert” podcasts

I wish there was someone to talk to, whilst I was waiting for someone to talk to”

A child said to Chris Dyas, NSPCC social worker

If communities could create environments in tune with the human givens, where their children can safely build key life skills and ensure that basic emotional needs are met, then there would be far less need for expert services”

Chris Dyas
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