During Mental Health Week and World Mental Health Day, we reflect on mental health and how playgroups support this.
Going to playgroup helps to support mental health by making social connections for both parents and children, and experiencing the joy and stimulation of play, whilst also being involved in a community activity. Social connections, peer support and community involvement are all powerful insulators against mental ill health.
This Mental Health Week, it’s a great time to recognise the positive impacts of having a welcoming, inclusive place to regularly meet, make friends and play.
Families and children who participate at their local playgroup are at the frontline of positive mental health. The effort involved in making and keeping relationships is just as important for adults as learning to share and waiting their turn are critical learning stages for children.
Playgroups help to keep you healthy, plus having a strong support network is key to managing during difficult times.
Just because it isn’t all planned or scripted or run by a professional does not make your playgroup any less important. In fact, it makes it more important. Navigating the bumps and bruises, joys and fun of day-to-day interactions is what mental health is all about and playgroup is a safe microcosm of the world in which children will learn to thrive.
For those families who attend playgroup, as you read and hear about the increase of mental health issues, it is helpful to recognise the positive mental health benefits for both adults and children from being involved in playgroup. The positive relationships that are built at playgroup can provide amazing support for parents and are a great start in life for children.
And for those who have yet to join playgroup, we welcome you to consider joining. Find local playgroups running in your area here.