Children & Young People’s Mental Health Promotion Worker – ACEs
I have always had a passion for mental health arising from choosing to study psychology at A-level and then onto to university to continue to learn more. Alongside this, I gained counselling qualifications too. I have actively sought out a wide range of experiences to support my professional development:
- my time as an online Childline counsellor
- a support worker for victims of crime
- my role as a primary care mental health practitioner, during which I also gained cognitive behavioural therapy skills.
I love to learn and value the role of education and always looking for ways to continue to develop my knowledge; as an example gained a post-graduate diploma in community development work and Black Asian Minority Ethnic communities and mental health as this was an area I felt I lacked knowledge in. To support people with their mental health and wellbeing. I spent time working for the NHS as a community development worker for Black Asian Minority Ethnic communities. It also gave me useful insight into many different communities and their understanding and cultural perceptions of mental health and mental illness.
I worked in the prison community with inmates from Walton HMP, looking at their experiences of mental and wellbeing, adding to my understanding of the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences. A key learning point for me was recognising mental health interventions happened too late and that the foundations for good mental health needed to start from birth. Therefore, I followed the path of early years and gained my early years’ teacher status and received outstanding recognition for my teaching. I am familiar with the school environment and the opportunities but also the challenges that can bring too. I have worked with everyone from infants to adults, I feel I have a breadth of knowledge and experience that can support children, young people and adults across diverse communities and backgrounds. In my current role as mental health promotion worker for Merseyside Youth Association Raise team I am currently working on a summer cultural project celebrating identity, belonging and diversity and how these impact the lives of Black, Asian minority ethnic young people.
I am passionately driving forward the early year’s agenda, promoting the need to focus on infant mental health and working to educate and promote child and young person’s social and emotional development across ages and stages of development. I am currently developing the products of the very successful ROAR response to mental health for primary schools so that we have a relevant version for the early years and raising awareness of attachment and self-care in education. I work with the team to deliver our successful arts festival for children, and young people called the NOW festival, which engages with primary and secondary schools to support children to deliver their own messages around mental health, including subjects like ACEs and belonging. Alongside this, I have been delivering training on attachment and its importance on attachment not only for the early years but across the life span, for all ages and how we can nurture a healthy attachment to support mental health. In addition to this, I am also developing an addition to our ROAR program looking at a course that specifically focuses on SEND and mental health. Most recently, I have been delivering courses to parents, carers and professionals working with children and young people on topics such as resilience, anxiety, embracing uncertainty, understanding your stress response, attachment and understanding children’s worry and understanding teenage worry.