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I have had the privilege to listen to young people including my own children talking about real life issues and some of the challenges that they face when it comes to making decisions and taking responsibility of their wellbeing. These include difficulties in finding a trustworthy person who knows how to listen.
As an evidence-based practitioner and researcher with over fifteen years of working in different educational settings across Africa and the UK, I had catered to the needs of children and young people from different socio-cultural, religious and educational backgrounds. I have created environments favourable for effective listening which have provided me with starting points for the improvement of services for children and young people, (Wolfson, 2008).
Through workshops in schools and volunteering with charitable organisations like Young Gloucestershire, and Young Carers, I found that involving young people in decision making in matters that concern them is the most effective and sustainable way of supporting them. They quickly develop a sense of responsibility; they find validation, feel valued and make valuable contribution to their community.
To give you an idea of what most children and young people go through- see glimpses of some of the things I heard from them.
‘That girl over there does not like me. She laughs at my accent because my hair is curly’
‘My aunty committed suicide’, ‘my brother’s baby passed away in her sleep last night miss,’ ‘Miss, I hate this lesson, this teacher does not like me’ ‘I had a fight with my mum this morning’ ‘Miss I am hungry’ I did not have time to eat this morning’
‘This is too much, I come to school and I work, I go home and I work and my teacher wants me to finish this homework by lunch time’, ‘I can’t be bothered’, I am just going to fail’, ‘my teacher hates me’, I hate my teacher’.
‘I have suffered from anxiety since primary school but none understands because nobody can see it’, ‘I hope to get a doctor’s report before my exams so that I can get support’
‘It is my boyfriend’s birthday; we are going out to dinner’ ‘I hate my dad’ ‘My mum and dad split up’. ‘I have no lunch money’ ‘The school dinner is too expensive’
‘Why do some of these girls think that they can do drugs, sleep with boys at this age and brag about it?’
‘I have a boyfriend and a girlfriend’ ‘I’m bored’, ‘There is nothing for me to do?’ ‘I don’t trust that teacher’ ‘they sit and gossip about us’. ‘I cannot talk to my parents’, ‘they don’t listen’.
‘Adults don’t listen’, ‘Teachers cannot be trusted’, ‘Don’t tell my parents’ ‘My parents do not understand my feelings’. ‘We have had this information before, we value life skills, socio economic support, ‘confidentiality’, ‘friendship’ and ‘non-judgemental’ support. Some of these daily worries are normal for most people and can even help in developing resilience. However, some of these worries can linger for longer with devastating consequences on one’s mental wellbeing, (Tipping, 2018).
Recent reports on the state of young people’s wellbeing show that one in eight 5 to 19 year olds had a mental disorder in 2017. One in eight (12.8%) 5 to 19-year olds had at least one mental disorder when assessed in 2017. One in twenty (5.0%) 5 to 19-year olds met the criteria for two or more individual mental disorders at the time of the interview.
If you would like to learn more about young people’s mental Health, to gain up to date knowledge and skills in mental wellbeing for children and young people. Join one of our one workshops or training course.
WHO WE ARE
Teenage Survival Guide (TSG) is a UK registered company that offers bespoke mental wellbeing course for professionals in educational settings including parents and young people. The primary aim of the course is to foster emotional intelligence and resilience in children and young people. The course will help to familiarize participants with children and young people’s eco system, to develop skills in recognizing social emotional and mental health difficulties in children and young people, to develop strategies in supporting them and those involved in their care in an evidence-based way. Participants will be encouraged to commit to continuing professional development, to become evidence-based practitioners and to champion the transformation of primary mental health services for children and young people.
Our training is delivered online and face to face by well experienced evidenced based researchers, educators, education mental health practitioners, child life specialists, educational psychologists and qualified teachers. Through a variety of interactive teaching methods, participants can take the course on one to one basis and in small groups with other professionals. Online participants can start learning as soon as they enrol, they can access their course anywhere at any time, and group is arranged in advanced facilitated by the trainer.
ABOUT THE FOUNDER
Regina has a Masters in Inclusive Education/SEND /SEMH, a Postgraduate Diploma in Education Mental Health, Postgraduate Diploma in Special Educational Needs and Disability, and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education.
She is an Educational Mental Health Practitioner (EMHP), a UK qualified secondary school teacher and a curriculum coordinator with skills in developing languages and cultural awareness and mental wellbeing resources for children, young people, professionals and parents/carers.
After over ten years of teaching in Gloucestershire schools, Regina trained an EMHP with the University of Exeter in line with the government green paper (Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health, 2017). Presently, she works for the National Health Service (NHS) as a pioneer practitioner in Young Minds Matter/ Children and Mental Health Services (CAMHS). She specialises in Low Intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapies, Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) interventions.
Regina is the founder of Teenage Survival Guide (TSG), mental health promotion for teenagers. She has organised and ran wellbeing workshops for young people in primary, secondary and charitable settings in and beyond her community.
She is also the founder of Edufun languages and culture club, for over four years she organised and ran holiday workshops with young people and families in her community, Cheltenham. She also did a number of presentations for schools and community festivals to foster community cohesion, to promote cultural awareness and appreciation of differences.
Regina is passionate about youth empowerment, mental wellbeing for all, equality and diversity.