The project video above is a 1m 20s Video about our intention.
Mental health and emotional wellbeing is only recently highlighted in the media, but is something we (Mind Angels) have been aware of and working towards a solution since 2014. It is clear to everyone now that stress is a mental challenge that has a physical impact, which will negatively affect our immune systems. In essence, what goes on in our minds will affect what is happening in our bodies.
Since 2013, with the explosion of smartphones and social media, we have seen regular increases in children’s mental ill-health. Over the pandemic, we are seeing higher instances of anxiety with all walks of life. Not only is the family unit facing significant challenges in lifestyle, and tolerance of others, there are also financial pressures, and in some tragic cases, the loss of loved ones before their time.
There was also (Since 2013) been a growing divide between the elderly and the youth, which has been compounded further by our lack of response and awareness. The pandemic is impacting everyone and we are facing personal challenges stretching our resolve.
Here is a 2m 44s video about the author and why he created the workbook.
The most generally accessible tool to alleviate mental health issues is talking. The depth of the conversation allows us to relieve stress by reflecting on situations, looking past them to find a way through. This project has been years in the making, has been through a continual process of improvement being reviewed and amended several times to make it fit for purpose.
We aim to provide workbooks free to parents/carers/elders and professionals to support children and educate each other. We were all children once, but we do not know exactly what it is like for children growing up today because our experiences are different. However, the emotions and feeling are the same and by sharing these we establish a human connection which is common in us all. Once we open the discussion by talking about a third party (the story and characters in the workbook), we can disclose our experiences and strategies. When it comes to mental health and emotional wellbeing, we are all disadvantaged without education. The lack of which has been statistically proven by the government and NHS.
Mental Health has been a serious concern for everyone, before, during and will continue to be after the Covid-19 pandemic. This project, called “Roxy” focuses on relieving mental stresses and increasing resilience for children (7-11yrs). Also, engaging adults in the process to share their experiences and healthy coping strategies with children and young people.
The main objectives of this project are to increase awareness of mental health, reduce stigma and increase resilience in children (7-11yrs). To achieve these objectives, we will facilitate the outcomes below. This money will help us to reach 300 children.
During this Covid-19 pandemic, and over the coming year, we will be increasing awareness of mental health, reducing stigma and increasing resilience in children (7-11yrs). The core resource we will be providing interactive wellbeing workbooks for adults to read with children (7-11yrs). This resource consists of:
• A story with feelings and emotional words throughout, and characters children can empathise with.
• An emotional glossary to look up the meanings of these words, and more.
• Interactive talking exercises, designed to reveal empathic responses and provide opportunities for children to disclose their emotions and feelings.
• Space to complete action plans, which the adult and child may commit to.
• A questionnaire to create a baseline and measure changes to the outcomes, as well as gain feedback.
We will facilitate positive change in several areas. These outcomes are listed below.
• Engage and support families by facilitating discussions, provide guided talking exercises, encouraging disclosure about feelings and emotions to alleviate mental health symptoms during and after the Covid-19 pandemic. Engaging adults, carers, elders, or professionals to share their experiences (reminiscence for older people), healthy coping strategies and maintain human connection within peer groups and their family unit over time.
• Provide “emotional literacy” so children can articulate their feelings and emotions and document/evidence actions for the adult to support the child.
• Measured and evidenced changes to children’s mental health awareness, stigma, and resilience.
• Engage primary schools as part of a programme for children’s mental and emotional wellbeing during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.
• Support various local authority statutory services – fostering, adoptions, social services, Special Educational Needs (SEN) and SEN Coordinators.
• Alleviate short-term stresses related to Covid-19 and long-term mental health costs to society as children become better balanced young people and adults.
• Hope to reduce the rates of self-harm for children as they get older by supporting healthy coping strategies.
We will be providing the workbooks Free, supporting and monitoring the process to ensure we can receive feedback during and at the end of interactions to measure our objectives. The cost of supporting children as they get older will increase. Targeting this demographic (7-11yrs) ensures we can be cost-effective relieving the significant future cost of mental ill-health in young people and young adults.
• Instances of poor mental health in adults is relative to resilience in children. The impact, like most things in life, is relieved by education. This will allow children to understand their behaviour by talking through the exercises and experiences of the characters in the workbook.
• Our project support the education of children at school & home regarding mental health and emotional wellbeing helping them to be more resilient. This resilience gives children the ability to find healthy coping strategies to not be seriously diminished by challenges impacting their lives. These challenges vary greatly could be related to relationships, financial status, physical health, employment, self-esteem, etc.
• We believe this education is not exclusive to schools but should be taught at home. Communication at a human level and talking about feelings and emotions, allows us to have deeper meaningful connections. This awareness and understanding gives relationships greater value and personal satisfaction.
• Adults reading with children can share their understanding of mental health and emotional wellbeing. Talking exercises allow readers to reflect on their mental health and support each other. Elders can reminisce allowing their experiences to be shared and used to empathise and relay their coping strategies.
• Having greater resilience builds self-confidence and allows children to entertain healthy coping strategies. These new skills will result in more stability in life, better decision-making process, and outcomes.
Generally, emotions and feelings are not conducive to healthy professional relationships. Often, we don’t want to expose what we are feeling as it can be perceived as a sign of weakness. These weaknesses are human traits, which help us to have fulfilling lives if we learn to manage them. You cannot outrun them and hiding would be a poor coping strategy, employed by many children, resulting in self-harm and other poor coping strategies. We aim to absorb and learn to manage our mental and emotional “energy”. This is what makes us all human, and promoting this will connect individuals, groups and communities.
We are focused on the mental health and wellbeing of children (7-11yrs). Our project has been years in the making, ready since April 2020 and is fit for purpose. We only need funding help to get it into the hands of parents/carers/grandparents and professionals to read with children. This is where it make the difference and helps to prevent a child having a “distressed life”.
The cost breakdown of a 6mth project
Stationary (Ink, Promotional Material and other office resources).......400
12mths Staff Costs (1 x Person X 46hrs per mth @ 15phr)................4140
Hardware: Printer & Data Backup Drive.....................................................300
1020 x WorkBook Printing, Postage & Delivery costs..........................5865
Zoom (Pro Package) per yr..........................................................................120
6mths Marketing costs - Youtube, Google, Facebook...........................600
Admin (DBS x 2)...........................................................................................128
Governance & Management Contribution..............................................125
Total Funding Required = £11,678
Some more information about the resource.
Roxy's school programme, detailed in the guide below, centres around an interactive workbook for children at pre-transition age, before they move from primary to secondary school. The resource is called, "Roxy says, You are here". It is a story about emotional wellbeing, following the experiences of the main character, Roxy the dog, her friends and family.
The story's contain everyday experiences building to an emotional high which is dissolved into a happy ending at the end of each chapter. Using the talking exercises at the end of each chapter, we subtly allow a child to empathise with experiences then, through further discussion, analyse the experiences, and help to understand and manage their emotions and feelings. The workbook's intention is to allow both the reader and child to talk and share their understanding of the characters feelings and emotions, giving the opportunity to establish a safe space to talk about how they feel. This interaction can help the child to avoiding bad coping strategies in future, to protect their mental health and emotional wellbeing in future.
The book can be used by a parent, carer, elder or professional to facilitate discussion with a child about good mental health. The exercises open a valuable space for discussion, this is the most important aspect. There is an emotional glossary to look-up words and provide emotional vocabulary and space for action plans. You can try the sample and decided whether to purchase the full workbook.
We provide the workbooks for primary schools to support the programme, run over a month. From the feedback and data collected, we will be able to measure 1. Increased mental health awareness, 2. Reduced Stigma and 3. Increased resilience.
This book is reading homework as part of a school’s programme. We have written a guide detailing the implementation of the programme which includes details about Roxy's Book. We are able to manage the project remotely sending workbooks to parents and schools.
We provide this programme in primary schools prioritising Key Stage 2 (Yr6) pre-transition children. The workbooks and supporting activity is sponsored by local businesses so there is no cost to the school or parent.
The Book is available below to purchase. The text has been reviewed by counsellors, a psychologists and mental health professionals for their feedback. Below is a parent's review (mother with a 9year old daughter), please check out the other reviews and more information here.
How will we monitor this work?
Each workbook will be individually numbered and allocated to a single child. The progress will be tracked through the process from start (allocation) to finish (feedback) via this unique number.
Part of the workbook is a questionnaire to measure the baseline, after reading the chapters, doing the exercises at the end of each chapter and perhaps completing action plans (also at the end of each chapter) there is the same questionnaire at the end which we can score and measure improvement. We also have feedback requested on the last page of the questionnaire. We also have this process available online which saves data into a spreadsheet which can be interrogated for statistical information at the end of the project.
We have built marketing costs into the budget. We will use social media to reach individuals, email/telephone to reach out to schools, marketing campaigns on Google/YouTube and advertising in the local papers to reach anyone else.
Local Authority Support
We have produced a report of how our resource can support statutory services in various areas in line with legislation. This has been uploaded online using Harrow Council as an example. This can be viewed at https://www.mind-angels.com/lauthority
Here is a full presentation about mental health and why this workbook is so needed.
Please also share our other resources:
Free Wellbeing Sessions:
Mind Angels Charity also offer Free Recorded Wellbeing Sessions (6 x 40mins) for Everyone. We delivered these classes for various organisations to fund the charity but after the first lockdown, we decided to record them and make them available to everyone for free. Please share these, they can be watched anonymously and may be helpful to someone you know. http://www.mind-angels.com/help
Free Mobility Class for over 65's
Before the lockdowns we also delivered weekly mobility classes for the over 65's. We have also recorded the class and put it online Free for everyone. Including audio and written instructions, it will get the main muscles engaged, joints moving and keeps the heart pumping for circulation. It is a hugely beneficial 45mins class (with breaks) so please share with also. Perhaps give it a go yourself. https://www.mind-angels.com/physical-mental-wellbeing---active-communities#Mobility