20th February 2024

My Voice Matters: Celebrating Children’s Mental Health Week 2024

The 5th-11th February 2024 was Children’s Mental Health Week, with the theme: “My Voice Matters.” At WMSLT, we’re passionate about empowering children and young people to express themselves confidently, and so this theme resonates with us.

Why “My Voice Matters”?

This theme isn’t just about speaking up—it’s about ensuring that every child feels heard, valued, and empowered to share their thoughts and feelings. As parents, teachers, healthcare professionals (and more!), you play a crucial role in nurturing children’s emotional well-being, and encouraging them to find their voice.

Embracing Diversity in Communication

At WMSLT, we firmly believe that all voices matter. We recognize that every child communicates differently, especially those with Special Educational Needs (SEN) or Speech, Language, and Communication Needs (SLCN). Whether through spoken words, Makaton, VOCA devices, AAC switches, using Objects of Reference or Aided Language Displays, and the list goes on! Every form of communication is valid.

Empowering Voices through Speech Therapy

That’s where we come in. Our team at WMSLT is dedicated to providing tailored support to children with diverse communication needs. Through speech and language therapy, we help children build confidence and develop the skills they need to express themselves effectively. Our goal is to ensure that every child’s voice is not just heard, but understood and respected.

Fostering Total Communication

But speech and language therapy is just one piece of the puzzle. To truly amplify every voice, we need a collaborative effort from schools, families, and communities. That’s why we advocate for a total communication approach, where all forms of communication are embraced and supported.

Starting the Conversation

We celebrated Children’s Mental Health Week already, but let’s keep conversations flowing about mental health and well-being. Remember, every conversation is an opportunity to show your child that their voice matters and that you’re here to support them every step of the way.

Here are some conversation starters to help you open up dialogue with a child or young person:

“Tell me about your day”

“What are you worrying about right now?”

“What has been the best thing about your day?”

“Who can you talk to if you are feeling stressed or worried a lot?”

“What can I do to help you?”

© West Midlands Speech & Language Therapy 2018

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