Children need to know that our feelings and worries are 'normal' and as a result know how to manage them. The Wellme groups create a powerful platform for us to empower the next generation with the knowledge, understanding and tools to look after their own mental health.
Wellme workshops comprise of weekly, 1-hour long workshops, for 4 – 6 weeks. In these children learn about and explore: Emotions, Anxiety & Worry and Self-Esteem & Confidence. Children can, and do, self-refer, school staff may mention individuals who may benefit and parents can also put their children forward for a group. We aim to get as many children as possible at Burley Oaks to take part in one of these groups at some time during their school journey to equip them with tools and strategies to help them know how to cope well should difficult emotions/situations crop up along their life journey. George Walker, our Mental Health Co-ordinator delivers these groups.
Here are some quotes from our children about these groups:
‘Best group in the world. Amazingly, amazingly fun.’
‘My favourite bit was making the calming jar and stone.’
‘I learnt how to deal with my worries.’
‘Amazing, caring and helpful.’
Parent and carer involvement is crucial to the success of the Wellme project. We have worked hard to ensure parents/carers can play an active role in their child's experience of attending a group.
‘I feel really lucky that this course has been offered, and feel strongly that understanding and being open about all aspects of mental health is crucial to all children’s development.’
'My son came out of each group absolutely buzzing! He enjoyed telling me what he had learnt, and showing me how each tool could be used.’
‘My daughter said she now trusts other people and she can now tell others about her emotions whereas before she kept it bottled up.’
Pre and post-assessments are completed by the group facilitators for each group of children to examine the impact. In addition to this, each child is asked for their feedback as well as their parent/carer who completes a questionnaire. For the last group we ran, the results speak for themselves:
The Wellme workshops aim to help children to:
- Understand all of the different emotions and what they look and feel like
- Learn about the emotional part of the brain (the amygdala)
- Understand how emotions have a physical effect on us and begin to notice the signs
- Develop a portfolio of tools and strategies that help us or someone we know
- Realise how important it is to talk/communicate how we feel and share experiences
- Feel like an important part of the world and know that we are not alone
- Become happy, resilient and optimistic individuals with improved Emotional Intelligence and literacy