My name is Mabel and I work for Lancashire Mind as a Wellbeing Coach for children and young people (CYP).
I work mainly in schools in West Lancashire providing one-to-one sessions. The aim of my role is to work with CYP aged 10-18 to help them develop positive coping strategies, increase confidence and build positive relationships and support networks.
Due to COVID-19, I have been working from home delivering one-to-one sessions virtually online either through video or phone calls. As part of my role I also deliver group workshop classes, however due to lock-down I have been unable to deliver these groups. The workshop classes are designed to offer support to children and young people to help them manage their symptoms.
The project is funded by Children in Need to offer support in West Lancashire. We have recently been awarded a booster grant by Children in Need to offer this support to the whole of Lancashire.
The wellbeing coaching allows the individual to have someone to talk to and empowers them to make changes to create positive wellbeing and mental health in their everyday lives.
Mental Health in Children and Young People
The common themes I see are:
confidence and self-esteem issues
Coronavirus and Mental Health
It's safe to say that Coronavirus has had a massive impact on children and young people, as well as Lancashire as a whole. We have created resources and activities that they can access, for free, right from our website.
I recommend the CYP Workbook - this is a journal bursting with activities and ways to keep mentally well during these changes we are all experiencing.
We also have our school newsletters which are our weekly information we send out to the schools we support in the county, these are also free to access and include themes such as coping with change, resilience, body confidence etc.
My Top Tip
The 'Five Ways to Wellbeing' is always a good way to start promoting positive wellbeing and mental health.
Firstly, we have 'connect'- connect is all about connecting with people around you, friends, family, and colleagues. It can even be something as small as texting a friend just to check in. Connecting with other people enhances positive emotions and allows us to feel loved and secure with our relationships.
We then have 'be active' - this can literally mean anything for anyone it doesn’t have to be going to the gym it can be going for a walk or even starting a new hobby (dancing, football, swimming). This is a great way to make your body and mind feel good!
'Keep learning' is a great way to keep your mind occupied and challenged. You can learn a new skill, read a book, watch a film, or listen to a podcast. Learning does not have to be boring it can fun and interesting and a great way to keep the mind busy.
'Take notice' is next, personally for me this means just being present in the moment. Notice your surroundings, people around you, being present in the here and now. This is a really great way to stay grounded and allow yourself to live in the moment. Many of us struggle with overthinking and worrying about the future or the past. Next time you’re out walking why not try to focus on your surroundings and notice the smells, what you can hear, what you can see and notice your feet touch the ground and allow yourself to take everything in and live in the present.
Lastly, we have 'Give' as the final 5 ways to wellbeing. Giving is a great way to boost our wellbeing, it is a great feeling knowing that you have helped someone else. This can be something as simple as giving a stranger a smile or even giving your family member a hand with stuff around the house. Giving your time and attention to other people can be very rewarding.''