Finding your Brave
This week 3-9th February is Children’s mental health awareness week 2020.
Set up by children’s mental health charity Place2Be, the week shines a spotlight on the importance of children and young people’s mental health. This year’s theme is Find your Brave.
What is bravery?
Bravery can come in many different shapes and sizes. It Is something that is important in our lives and is good for our mental health to be able to try something new, step outside our comfort zone, and to accept and ask for help.
How children show their bravery:
Children show their bravery in everyday situations such as; going to school, taking tests, interacting with new people, trying new things and stepping out of their comfort zones, and asking for help when needed. Children can also show bravery when they step outside of the boundaries of peer pressure and reach out to other children who are in need of a friend. Whilst doing these can feel extremely scary, it can also lead to feeling proud, confident and empowered.
How we can encourage children to be brave:
- Role-modelling bravery allows children to witness others stepping out of their comfort zone.
- Whilst protecting children and keeping them safe, it is also important to challenge them to try new things and attempt things they may find scary.
- One of the most important things we can do as adults is to teach children it is ok to need and ask for help.
How our emotional support dogs enable children to be brave:
Working together, our emotional wellbeing dogs support children to face their fears in a variety of ways. From opening up about their thoughts and feelings, to engaging in therapeutic work around these difficulties, and in providing a helpful paw to hold when facing these challenges head on.
Some of the ways our children have felt the therapy dog supported them to be brave:
“Therapy dog Milo helped me to face my fear of the classroom. I was scared of lots of people and noises, but I was brave by sitting in there with Milo”- (Yr.2 student)
“I felt brave when Milo helped me to share my emotions with the therapist. I had kept these worries to myself for a long time and it felt good to get them out”- (Yr.7 student)
Katy Pey CAL Animal Assisted Therapy Practitioner