Children’s Mental Health Week – My Voice Matters!

Children’s Mental Health Week 2024 takes place 5th – 11th February and this year’s theme is ‘My Voice Matters’. Helping children talk and express their feelings about what is happening in their lives is central to our whole approach and facilitating time to share experiences, develop empathy and friendships in a small group environment of safety, value and belonging.

Children’s Mental Health Week

At Hamish & Milo we know how important it is to ensure children feel listened to and understood from their perspective and through their experiences. We know they need to feel safe enough to talk about what is happening for them whilst learning the social and emotional skills for life and learning.

Children’s voices matter
  • To build trust and emotional safety.

  • To gain a shared sense of meaning.

  • To feel heard and valued.

  • To understand the child’s personal perspective.

  • To understand the child’s thoughts, wishes and feelings.

  • To feel they matter and that they belong.

“They just wouldn’t speak this freely in a busy classroom.”

Jill Wilcock, St John with St Mark Primary

Through the Hamish & Milo wellbeing programme we help children’s voices to be heard through a number of ways that are central to the whole approach:

Creating a safe base
  • The environment and sense of emotional safety that the small group and context of the intervention offers, allows children to really express themselves, feel heard and able to share their thoughts and feelings.

  • A safe space away from the classroom that is comfortable, welcoming and nurturing.

  • Knowing they are not alone and that others in the group have similar feelings and experiences too.

  • A safe space for sharing ideas, reflecting and being together.

Creating emotional safety in the presence of a trusted, listening adult
  • The quality of the relationship is the powerful element that makes the difference to a child’s ultimate wellbeing.

  • The adult helps the child to feel special, seen and heard.

Rowanfield Infant Hamish & Milo Wellbeing Intervention Room
Rowanfield Infant & Junior School
Listening through the sock puppet pets
  • Puppets are extremely powerful in helping children talk about difficult things without them feeling exposed or vulnerable.

  • Children can speak with and through the puppets helping them to express and reflect on their own emotional experiences.

  • Safety in talking in the third person, distancing themselves from talking directly about themselves.

  • Puppets can be playful allowing the children to play and have fun.

“…the children are verbalising things they wouldn’t have verbalised before.”

Heather Helm, SENCO Lytchett Matravers Primary School

Creative and engaging activities
  • Helping children to understand the concepts around emotions and to develop self-awareness and self-regulation.

  • Collaboration with their peers to create a sense of belonging and friendship.

  • Learning ways to understand and manage feelings.

Child’s voice questionnaires
  • To capture the child’s voice pre and post intervention and to show measurable change.

  • Our research report presents child’s voice as a central element to the evidence base.

Developing a vocabulary for feelings through using our Sensation & Emotion cards
  • Children need multiple, repeated experiences of adults noticing, labelling and validating their emotions in a safe, relational way so that all feelings are acknowledged, accepted and safe to have.

We are passionate about helping children to feel happier, heard and connected and know that every child’s voice matters!

Everything you need to get your school involved in Children’s Mental Health Week 2024 - Download the Primary school pack.

Hamish & Milo Resilient Me Rocket to the stars Activity
Sensation & Emotion Cards Pack Hamish & Milo Angry

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