Looking out for our children.


Children’s mental health awareness week.

I am a mum of 3 boys and I have had the pleasure and/or misfortune of going through varying systems and organisations with anxiety, autism, dyslexia and relating issues. As a family we have worked closely within the mainstream and autism specific school system, it has been a rollercoaster ride of Senco’s, Ed Psych’s, school nurses, varying out reach services and pediatricians.

Over the years my children have needed support to get used to changes and gain control. I think we have been extremely lucky with the support that we have had.

However as a counsellor who works with children, families and adults I hear how other individuals feel let down by the system.
That is why they seek out private counselling for themselves or their children.

The Governments recent Green Paper children’s mental health promise is certainly an admirable statement to empower schools to tackle these problems.

However is their approach to fulfilling this promise manageable or are parents left with feelings of doubt and worry. Children will recieve support in schools from a mental health team and support staff with a teacher who is in charge of their mental awareness. This will hopefully encourage a sufficiently skilled counsellor in schools across the UK. This will hopefully discourage schools who are at the moment utilising their T/As and mentors as counselling services and ensure that their children are recieving the right support.

I believe that we need more qualified level 4 and above counsellors, play therapists and educational psychologists working in our schools who are already trained and have the experience to help these children. Yes this may cost a little more than the teaching assistants or mentors who are being employed to do this job. But isn’t it worth it? My concern is what level of training will this mental health team have to work with the children and young people. Is this quick fix really the best way to tackle children’s mental health in the long term? Or is it an ill advised therapy likely to create more issues that need dealing with later?

So on Children’s mental health week we need to look at these policies and realise that any therapy is only as good as the therapist.

Stop the Bullies!


How can it be that time goes so quick? I remember my mum saying to me when I was little, You wait until you go to work the time flies by, Your school days are your best times of your life. For most kid’s this is true, that is unless you are being bullied. She didn’t know that bit though, like most victim’s of bullying I kept it hidden. So listening to her say it’s the best time of your life always felt like a lie.

But that wasn’t her fault to be fair. Everyday going to school and thinking how will today be, will it be a good day or will it be a normal day.

Normal sounds ok hey, but how many of you spent your times locked in a toilet hidden away from the bullies. If only I had of spoken up. I had a lovely supportive teacher so why didn’t I speak up? Why didn’t I say how I felt?

Now I am not telling you this to feel sorry for me or to get support, I am telling you this to help stop bullying. To say if you notice signs in your children it could be bullying and if you think ‘should I say something’ as a parent or a teacher the answer is yes, a huge YES! Bullying sticks!

Whether you are the bully or the bullied! If your the school bully and you are not challenged or punished, you may go on to be a work bully in your adult life. Remember it’s your choice.

Being bullied can cause an impact later on in life and affect self esteem and confidence which can cause issues in relationships and work.

If my teacher had noticed that I spent a lot of my lunch times in the toilets or alone could it have changed anything? Would it have caused more issues or helped me? I don’t know but having somebody to listen to me, having somebody to talk to and to share my worry would have been a start! This may have reduced the feeling of self hate, the drastic feelings running through my head which were caused by not being able to take one more day. But thankfully I found somebody to support me in time! It only took one person to notice. This stopped the bullying there and then for me. Howevee I didn’t know about counselling or talking, working through the problems it had caused, the impact of the issues until I had counselling later on in life and realised the bullying in school sticks to you like glue.

That emotional trauma set me up to fail with a boss who I should have spoken out to, a partner and also friendships not to mention other issues. But after counselling my self-awareness, self belief and my confidence grew. Don’t be a victim of the bullies all of your life, you can take control. Speak out. If it’s happening now or in childhood, speak out. Stop the Bullies. Don’t let bullies win!

As national bullying week draws to a close we need to stand up to bullies within the school, home and in the work place. Bullying is not acceptable. Thank you for reading.