Children’s physical and mental health and wellbeing are in focus during National Children’s Week this week (19 - 27 October).
Queensland Mental Health Commissioner Mr Ivan Frkovic and Family and Child Commission Principal Commissioner Ms Cheryl Vardon today welcomed the week-long focus on children across the state, the nation and the world.
Mr Frkovic said giving children the best start in life was a key element of the Shifting minds: Queensland Mental Health, Alcohol and other Drugs Strategic Plan 2018-2023.
“As a father and grandfather, I’m keenly aware that the foundations for lifelong social, emotional and physical wellbeing are set in childhood and adolescence,” he said.
“If we get it right during the early years, we can expect to see children thrive throughout school and their adult lives.
“We want to ensure Queensland’s children can live healthy, happy and productive lives, and we need to ensure they are growing up in an environment that supports their health, social, emotional and economic needs.
“We need to get in early, with high-quality infant, child and family programs and services, including access to excellent early childhood education programs,” he said.
Ms Vardon said hearing the voices of Queensland young people and helping promote their voice was one of the best ways to ensure children thrive.
“As a State ambassador for Children’s Week I have spoken to many young people about the need to be heard, especially around their rights to health care, nutritious food and the environment,” she said.
“Having access to a clean environment and healthy food is something young people are acutely mindful of and they want their voices, ideas and concerns heard.
“Through our Youth Advisory Council and our second round of research with Growing up in Queensland which is due to launch early 2020, I look forward to hearing from young people across the state on the big issues that matter to them and how we can support amplifying their voices to make sure governments, organisations and community leaders keep young people involved the decision making process,” Ms Vardon said.
The 2019 National Children’s Week theme is: children have the right to good quality health care, clean water, nutritious food and a clean environment so that they will stay healthy. Richer countries should help poorer countries achieve this.
The Queensland Children’s Week website has a calendar of events and activities across the State, a healthy communities tip sheet to help children thrive, and a plethora of healthy recipes for kids.
Media: QMHC, Carolyn Varley, 0477 385 121; QFCC, Kirby Orr, 0434 683 265.