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Place2Be encourages ‘meaningful connections’

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Our new data also shows that 65% of children and young people seen by Place2Be counsellors in the last year had difficulties interacting with their classmates and 78% of children who seek support feel anxious socially.

However, with support from Place2Be, 76% of primary and secondary-aged children and young people who started with severe mental difficulties had improved. 

The new findings come in the wake of the pandemic, which saw a challenge to friendships and classroom connections, with many teachers asking for support in helping young people improve their social interactions. 

A lack of meaningful connection is a key driver in loneliness and anxiety, so it is important that young people establish friendships which can allow them to support one another.

In one-to-one sessions with our counsellors, children are telling us how difficult they find it to form and maintain friendships. Forming positive relationships is fundamental to our mental wellbeing and this has been significantly disrupted in recent years. While the statistics around children’s mental health problems are stark, I am optimistic. Through targeted intervention across the school, we can help children and young people become confident, resilient and able to cope with life’s challenges. Disconnection and loneliness should not be a part of school life.

Catherine Roche, Chief Executive of Place2Be

Place2Be’s annual Children’s Mental Health Week is now in its ninth year. Each year, the week builds awareness of the mental health crisis facing children and young people across the UK and equips schools and families with resources. 

This year’s theme is ‘Let’s Connect’, and with 1 in 6 children suffering with a diagnosable mental health condition in England, Place2Be are encouraging all to connect with others in healthy, rewarding and meaningful ways. 

A series of resources have been designed for the week, including top tips for parents and teachers on having open conversationsadvice on developing friendshipsactivity ideas for schools, and more.

Place2Be is also partnering with Childnet for Safer Internet Day to help teachers guide their students in forming safe and fulfilling friendships online. 

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