As an evidence-based practitioner with over fifteen years of working with children and young people from different socio-economic and educational backgrounds in different educational settings across Africa and UK. I have had the privilege to listen to teenagers including my own children talk about the challenges that they face. This has provided me with the starting point for the improvement of mental health services for children and young people.
To give you an idea of what most teenagers go through- see glimpses from some of my conversations with 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).
Through workshops in schools, volunteering with charitable organisations like Young Gloucestershire, and Young Carers. I found the most effective and sustainable ways of supporting teenagers manage their mental wellbeing, build resilience and emotional intelligence. These included involving teenagers in decision making in matters that concern them and working with parents and other professionals involved in their care. They develop a sense of responsibility; they find validation and they feel valued. They also succeed academically vocationally and they make valuable contributions to their community.
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 twenty (5.0%) 5 to 19-year olds met the criteria for two or more individual mental disorders. One in eight (12.8%) 5 to 19-year olds had at least one mental disorder when assessed in 2017.
If you would like to learn more about mental wellbeing for teenagers, to gain up to date knowledge and skills in creating emotionally intelligent, resilient and well rounded teenagers. Join one of our one workshops or training course.
WHO WE ARE
Teenage Survival Guide (TSG) is a UK registered company. Its purpose is to offer a bespoke mental well-being course which can be accessed by both the professionals as well as those requiring some additional support. For example, the parents and the young people involved!
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
Masters in Inclusive Education, SEND/SEMH, PGDip, Educational Mental Health Practice, PGCE,(UK-QTS)
I am an Education Mental Health Practitioner (EMHP) and a UK qualified secondary school teacher. After over ten years of teaching in Gloucestershire schools, I trained as an EMHP with the University of Exeter in line with the government green paper (Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health, 2017). I work for the National Health Service (NHS) as a pioneer in school mental for children, young people. My main duty lies in delivering in Low Intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapies, Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) based on the stepped care model. Alongside this, I am also trained to deliver group psycho education, parenting interventions, consultation for staff and auditing based on the whole school approach model.
Whatever your difficulties you may be experiencing, I can provide you with a confidential, relaxed and safe space to explore your thoughts, feelings and behaviours. You will not be judged, you will feel heard, understood, valued and empowered to make the right choice to manage your wellbeing.
Apart from Teenage Survival Guide (TSG), I am also the founder of Edufun languages and cultural awareness for young people. I am passionate about young empowerment, diversity and equality.
In my free time I like to cook, socialising and spending time with my friends and family. I enjoy walking, listening to music, dancing, art, film, travel and spending quality time with my children.