Mental health in schools.

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Maybe this needs to be done from an earlier age.

Teachers you should not be afraid to talk about issues such as suicide, sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. If you are then why?

So how to help the children? How can you support them?

Why not try to bring a counsellor into the classroom to give a talk. See if you are able to run small groups for your vulnerable children or a drop in session.

Remember this is not just high schools and sixth form students who need to access support or know and understand mental health. It has been reported recently in the news that some children as young as 3-4 yr olds are struggling with issues of self harm, when this starts from an early age it may escalate if help is not given.

Our primary school children need support from professionals as well as sixth form. If we can help a child who is going through issues at 8yrs old, they may cope better by 16, if they are left they may have learnt unhelpful distructive coping mechanisms which are harder to break.

Teachers, teaching assistants, head of years and head of schools need to be making some allowances for children’s mental health. Teaching them these important lessons as you may be the person this child may turn to in their hour of need.

Click here for more information about Counsel me

Battles

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Throughout life each and every one of us will face some kind of a battle, whether this is big or small, facing a loss, an illness, a breakup, trauma or work issues. It could be family or friendship battles or battles with your neighbours. Whatever this is, this battle to you is your own personal battle.

Are you living in a battle zone right now or do you feel that you are busy picking up the pieces?

Think about what is going on around you.

Who’s in battle right now? Is this you? Or are you watching a battle with family or friends.

Do you feel judged by the choices that you are making? Unable to take control? Struggling to decide what is right or wrong?

When you are in that battle zone with advise being thrown from all areas, what do you do? Who do you listen to?

It’s easy just to put your head down in the sand and wait until the all clear. Some may want to go full force and battle every corner come what may, and look back on the injured parties later. Then what. Is it too late either way?

Living in that battleground, protecting yourself is hard if you are feeling the judgment, the ‘haven’t you got over it yet, the lack of support or the ‘told you so’s’.

We all need some support, encouragment and a listening ear. But are family and friends often too close? Would an impartial ear help? Somebody you can trust, have confidence in and know they won’t judge you know matter what you tell them.

How does judging help a person? Because deep down we know it doesn’t but we all do it, don’t we? After all, we all need to make choices in our lives which can be tricky, testing and hard for us. Which for others may seem easy.

So outside looking in, the judgement begins, the shoulda, woulda, coulda.

When all that person needs is somebody to listen.

They have their own internal battle, they don’t need other people to help join in.

Independent support offers you a confidential place to talk openly about anything, somewhere you will not feel judged and a place you may find resolution.

Counselling at counselme.

Going live

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So today I will be going on air!!!

No not flying through the sky, I will be speaking on the radio (or trying to).

Last week I was contacted out of the blue by Radio Leicester, I was asked if I would like to have a chat about a blog post I had previously written on my webpage.

Yes me, Subconscious Healing.

So today at around 9am I will be on Radio Leicester.

I will be talking about my post, Spring cleaning.

One of those days

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Picture this, I am walking down the stairs, no slippers on, rushing for work as usual last minute.com, with my arms full of dirty laundry, and as per something falls out on to the stairs. So it could have been a sock, a PJ top but no it was a soggy wet flannel! NICE!!! Yes you have guessed I stood on it with my nice stocking foot ‘squelch’. Hmm is this the start of my day or just one of those things you could be thinking. Well it depends how you look at life.
For me luckily I picked it up, realised I hadn’t fallen down the stairs, So it could have been worse. Things can be sorted if we decide to choose to take control. It was my choice to either scream and shout or laugh about it and I felt like doing both. However which takes more energy and which has the better outcome?
There are times I still do scream I won’t lie I am not a saintly counsellor.

I am real, I have feelings, emotions and I cry so how do I handle it? Because I am not a super hero, I don’t wear a cape and I don’t have a magic powers.

I think I can honestly say I handle it by talking! Since beginning my journey to becoming a counsellor I have had to learn to really talk and listen, not just a little chit chat with friends but be open. I have supervision and in that I am listened to and I can be me. I have realised that if I need somebody to talk to about my emotions I am happy pay a counsellor, but I have also learnt the value of talking openly to my family and friends!

Counselling has taught me so much about me. If you are struggling and need support don’t sit in silence thinking there is nobody to listen to you.

Don’t sit thinking nobody understands you, there is always somebody willing to listen, willing to help you. Sometimes you are stuck in a place and you just need a helping hand to get you up.

Why have therapy?

Looking out for our children.

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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.

January.

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So how’s your first month going? I know it’s only 3 days in and you are still getting used to being in January, whilst getting over the December feeling. You are probably still writing 2017.

The trouble is after all the hype of Christmas and New Year, the fireworks and the seasons greetings, January can be a bit of a dull month for some, it can be a struggle after the excitement, an anti-climax. Then there’s the thought of going back to school and work, some of you may be back already, whilst others are not. For some it can be a hard month financially too, especially if you are waiting until the end of the month for your pay packet knowing that it has already been spent on gifts and going out. Working out a budget and spending wisely in January and February may help reduce those feelings of stress. Why not invite friends round to your house for a meal instead of the expensive nights out over the next two months? You will be surprised how many other friends are feeling the pinch of January.

Is anyone struggling with seasonal cabin fever, that strange feelings and emotions which arise from lacking in your regular routine, days off and not knowing which day it is?

How many of you have spent the festive time either with family you really don’t get along with, counting the hours until the house is silent again. Whilst for others they have no choice but to spend their time wishing to see more people but only face it alone.

Any and all of the above can cause stress, arguments and anxiety, which can also heighten a person’s symptoms or bring on new.

So how can you help yourself and others around you?

If you think about individual’s who work in a structured environment ie children who are at school with a timetable, they seem to cope ok at school, they don’t seem to get anxious with a set routine in place. Or a man working in an office with a set amount of hours, he has a lunch and break time, he knows exactly what is expected of him, so he functions OK. So why does this all go wrong? Could it be the unpredictability of home and social life? In school and work we are in a controlled environment whereas when we leave we are not. There is no routine, no control, this life is all crazy which triggers anxiety. It all seems to hit the fan and then the parents for instance are left wondering why their child can cope at school but not at home.

Something so small can trigger a past anxious issue which has been kept on lock down. You dont always know what the initial issue was, it could have been the way the turkey was cooked but because you haven’t dealt with it, layers of stress and anxiety have built up which makes the outer layer weaker. It becomes hard to focus, tempers begin to get shorter, the room feels as though it is closing in, others around you can irritate you easily, then the fight or flight kicks in.

It’s not about blaming or making excuses, its about learning. Parents you can put helpful routines in place to lessen anxiety at home. Talk to the childs school to see if there is any support and ask them how they reduce anxiety. Talk to their GP or the school nurse and discuss how you can help your child.

Adults you need to look at the triggers of your anxiety and what changes happen in you, become self aware. Start to notice what is going on around you and work on making positive changes. Whether this is a short or long term issue, it is ok to seek help. Talk to your GP who may be able to put support in place, alternatively your workplace may have a scheme for counselling and support.

You don’t have to go through this alone. Counselling can help you with anxiety and stress.