This year's theme for Children’s Mental Health Week 2023 is:
Let’s Connect to inspire children to generate healthy connections within their communities.
A large part of Drawing and Talking work is based in helping people generate healthy attachments, to forge better connections.
As human beings we have always survived better in packs and communities than on our own. Having a support system, via a network of families and friends, has been known to help with our mental, physical, and emotional well-being. However, our attachment styles are often in control of our ability to connect socially.
How unhealthy attachments limit a child's ability to connect.
A Systematic Review conducted by Delgado et al. (2022) highlighted multiple studies around adolescents with no secure childhood attachment representations. The adolescents developed a limitation in connecting with their peers as they were; less likely to ask for and receive support, they became overly self-sufficient, lacked social abilities, and in some cases, presented with violent conduct.
When it comes to making peer connections, our attachments styles are a central function and tend to develop and replicate the dynamics we started during childhood.
The global need for altering children's attachments styles.
Connection is so important for us all. Over the last few years, there is no doubt that the pandemic, school closures and lockdowns have contributed to many children, young people, and adults feeling isolated and losing human connection. This lack of connection has seen a huge upturn in mental health issues throughout our communities, particularly in our children and young people.
Many children over the past years only had their family dynamics to explore and confirm their attachment styles. Children in lockdown, who were exposed to attachment representations that were not secure, will almost certainly have been affected by this.
Drawing and Talking supports the Let’s Connect campaign, as we have been providing cost-effective training in our attachment-based therapeutic technique for the last 20 years. We estimate that 2.5 million children have now accessed support from a Drawing and Talking practitioner. Through the 12-week process, practitioners demonstrate how to create healthy attachments, and how to have these endure after the 12-week period. Our therapeutic technique provides a blueprint for these vulnerable children and young people, so that they can create their own healthy connections and lead a fulfilled life.
Delgado E, Serna C, Martínez I, Cruise E. Parental Attachment and Peer Relationships in Adolescence: A Systematic Review. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Jan 18;19(3):1064. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19031064. PMID: 35162088; PMCID: PMC8834420.