This week is Children's Mental Health Week, and our friends at the children's mental health charity Place2Be is encouraging us all to spread a little kindness. Three pupils at one of Place2Be's Partner Schools share their personal stories of kindness for Children's Mental Health Week.
When I was in Year 4, people spread rumours about me to all my friends and most people believed it. They did this because I was smart and someone who likes school. I felt so alone and only had about four people who truly stuck up for me. The next few months were like madness for me. More and more of my friends started to leave and people became even more horrible to me and I started to give up. I gave up on trying to fix it and just sat down and acted as if I didn't care: Even though I did, deep down.
Then I found out about Place2Be's 15 minute talk-Place2Talk. So I signed up! My best friend came with me to make me feel better. Place2Be didn't only listen to me, they helped me. They helped me in a way no-one else could and I felt much better. They listened to me and helped me decide how to feel better about it all. So if you're ever feeling alone, Place2Be, a friend or adult can help you through and make you feel happier again. Remember to NEVER give up.
It was in Year 5, I was 9 years old, few months before 10, and I had my friends and my twin brother in my year. My family and I knew about his special needs, but it wasn't a big deal so he still went to the same school as me. But with his special needs, he couldn't stand it. I'm still not sure what it was that set him off, the work, the other children, I don't know. But one day, he just ran out of class. Then he went out of school. This kept on happening, so he had to leave. This was a few weeks before Christmas break.
Many people still don't know about me having a twin, because they just know about me and my big brother (since he was Head Boy). Twins have a special bond, and being separated was like a stab in the heart. My friends knew how hard this was for me and showed they cared about me. Some days, I briefly remember, I would just sit on the bench. But my friends came to me, influenced me to play with them, made me laugh and got me in a better mood.
My parents, even though they were going through all the change as well, helped me because I was too young to understand all the changes that were happening. I don't know how I would have gone through this change without my friends and family.
There are still moments when I feel down, but I know there will always be someone there for me. So when someone leaves someone you care for, or even someone you know from class, it would be kind and caring if you were there for them. So spread some happiness every once in a while.
Once I witnessed domestic abuse. Sorry to start this so depressing but that's what we're here for people! My dad walked out of the family in November 2012 and ever since things have been turbulent.
I saw it on the Sunday and was as terrified as a rabbit caught in the headlights. It left me feeling confused and scared for what would happen next. I was worried that I would have to protect my little sister because he would try to hurt us.
Luckily I had Place2Be the next day so I had someone to talk to. My counsellor was very calming for me and gave me tissues. He made me feel safe and that nobody could harm me like that at school which felt like a weight off my shoulders. Although he said because of the nature of what I had said he had to inform the head of the safeguarding team.
Later that day my teacher came to find me and ask me my side of the story and write it down on paper. I did so and she was extremely kind to me and said that I was brave and courageous. She was the first adult (apart from my family) who believed me for me and did not consider me as just a 'child' but as a person who was hurting and urgently needed help.
My mum, grandparents, aunt and cousin were the only people (up to that point) who I felt I could actually talk to. Now, at my secondary school, with a fresh new start, I had found others I could talk to; people who I could trust and were kind to me. Having someone finally listen to me made me feel like I really wasn't going mad and my feelings did matter.
Some advice I would give to people that are facing similar things to me (or anyone) would be never to bottle up feelings and to talk to people - for even a bottle has a capacity and has to explode at some point. Even if it feels like no one wants to listen, eventually, someone will, and when they do things change for the better.
Place2Be is proud to be a charity partner of the Heads Together campaign, spearheaded by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. The campaign aims to change how we talk about mental health and end stigma once and for all. Find out more at headstogether.org.uk
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