"My main goal is to encourage young people to believe in themselves because there may not be anyone else in their lives doing that"

Posted by / Friday 18 May 2018 / Young people Families
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“Statistics often quote 1 in 10 children and young people suffer from a diagnosable mental health problem, equivalent to 3 children in every classroom. However, those figures come from data published in 2004 - before the recession and the advert of social media. From experience I believe these figures to be much higher”

While it’s brilliant that we’re all talking about mental health more, it’s no good if there is no further support available, once we’ve recognised there is a problem.

A new mental health support service for children and young people, based in Wigan, is trying to change that, and provide more support for young people in the area. This amazing new scheme we’ve been able to start with the help of funding from House of Fraser.

Charlotte Lowe is a Mental Health Practitioner, who has been working with young people and their parents over the past 7 months in this new scheme, providing vital support for mental health.

Charlotte Lowe - Mentasl Health Practitioner Wigan

How traumatic experiences can cause serious mental health problems

"There is one family in particular I will always remember - three cheeky, brothers who were in desperate circumstances. They were referred to the Intensive Family Support team at Action for Children from Children’s Social Care (CSC).

The two children I worked with had been turned down by CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) because they weren’t deemed in serious enough need.

The children’s mum had been through so much that it took a while for her to talk to me. I worked with her and the boys, they seemed relieved that they finally had someone that they could talk to.”

Charlotte was able to act as liaison with their teachers to explain some of the reasons behind their behaviour and anger. She was able to work with them to help them process their traumatic experiences and learn to cope with their feelings related to what happened to them.

"It can be painful, but in a safe environment it is important for individuals to relive their traumatic experiences, to help them reprocess their memories and think about what happened to them without trying to block things out."

Charlotte Lowe, Mental Health Practitioner

“These boys had been through so much and yet they were such polite, lively characters. It was wonderful to get to know them and to help. I worked with them both for 12 weeks and then had my time with the younger boy extended. I’ll stay in touch with the family to see how things go”

“It can be painful, but in a safe environment it is important for individuals to relive their traumatic experiences, to help them reprocess their memories and think about what happened to them without trying to block things out. We know the more we try not to think about something the more we think about it. With children and young people, it is often useful to do this through drawings or writing as they cannot always express verbally how they feel”.

 

The bigger picture

I try to explain the principles of CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) to young people to help them to recognise the importance of their thoughts and thinking patterns on the way they feel and what they do. Helping young people to understand these links help them identify factors which are maintaining their problems and consequently which we can then try to do something about.

“My main goal is to build resilience in children and young people and encourage them to believe in themselves because there may not be anyone else in their lives doing that. Often young people focus on their weaknesses, what they can’t do or the things they don’t like about themselves. We want children and young people to change their focus of attention and concentrate on their achievements and what they do well instead”.

We're so grateful for the support from House of Fraser, that has enabled this wonderful service to get started and support young people who really need it.

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