On Saturday, 19th October 2019, I led a two hour training session introducing the topic of mental health with children and young people. This was one of four sessions organised to look at different topics on mental health by a team based at St James Church, Yeovil. My session included:
- A 30 minute session looking at brain development in children and sharing some of the approaches used by Dr. Siegel and Dr. Bryson in “Whole Brain Child” to help children develop more integrated brains.
- A similar 30 minute session looking at the changes, particular in terms of brain development, that occur in adolescence and approaches to help adolescents develop more integrated brains found in Dr. Siegel’s “Brainstorm”.
- A 30 minute session on trauma, how it impacts our brain’s development and functionality, and how to support children and young people who are carrying these burdens.
- A 30 minute session taking a brief tour through the major mental illnesses and exploring how we can best support children and young people that are struggling in these ways.
Around 20 people attended the event in Yeovil, Somerset. I asked for those there to fill out a feedback form on the training I provided, and 14 did so. In four different areas they ranked me from 1 (awful) to 6 (excellent). Here are the average scores from their reviews:
- Session Content – 6.00
- Session Delivery – 5.86
- Interaction Level – 4.75
- Use of Media – 5.79
Here are a few quotes from some of the participants:
“Fantastic session Matt, I could listen to you all day.”
“As a grandparent of granddaughters in a situation of a mentally controlling father to the mother, I can see the well-being health of the girls and watch out for the danger indicators.”
“You are clearly knowledgeable and passionate about this topic. You speak clearly and concisely. Incredibly interesting. Easy to understand and keep up. Thank you. I will be reading the books you recommended.”
“Would be excellent guidance for any parental/guardians evening in schools, churches, etc.”
“This training gives clear information about why and how people develop and suffer from different conditions and helpful suggestions about how we can accompany people in a helping way.”
“Incredibly informative and for one an enlightened event. I will take what I learnt and share with others. Amazing!”