This week is Children’s Mental Health Awareness week

This week (5-11 February), Personal Best Foundation will be marking the annual Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week, an awareness event designed to empower and give a voice to all children and young people in the UK.

Now in its tenth year, the awareness week is co-ordinated by children and young people’s mental health charity Place2Be, which operates with the goal that no child or young person should face a mental health problem alone.

The charity estimates that 1 in 5 children and young people have a probable mental health condition, figures reflected in the rise in the data shared by NHS charity Young Minds, which charts a recent increase of 46% in urgent referrals among children and young people to mental health crisis teams.

Open letter to MPs

It was alarming figures such as these which prompted Personal Best Foundation to voice their support of the open letter to MPs written by England Athletics and other athletics and running organisations last October (to mark World Mental Health Day) urging them to unlock the power of sport and physical activity to play a more meaningful role in tackling the growing mental health epidemic.

Read full details and download the letter

The importance of our work

For children and young people living in poverty and with inequalities there is an even greater risk of experiencing mental health problems at a young age. The positive effects of sport and physical activity on childrens mental health are well documented. The primary aim of our work is to improve the health and well-being of children facing inequalities through the power of athletics. As well as physical health, our programmes help to improve the mental, emotional and social wellbeing of children - helping them to feel happier and healthier and putting their personal best within reach - on the track, at school and in life.

Physical health

  • Improved fitness, strength, balance and coordination
  • Healthy weight maintenance
  • Prevention and management of medical conditions

Mental wellbeing

  • Better confidence, self-esteem and higher resilience
  • Reduced stress, anxiety and depression
  • Increased happiness

Emotional and social wellbeing

  • Better trust, less isolation
  • More friendships and reduced loneliness
  • A sense of belonging
  • Improved communication skills