Friday 18th November, 2016

Building resilience

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A group of parents whose children attend St Matthew’s Primary School, Cambridge have just completed a six week course run by Romsey Mill to help them better understand and deal with anxiety.

The pilot course was set up after St Matthew’s School identified that building resilience amongst pupils was a priority, and that a number of their children were particularly struggling with anxiety. It was delivered by Naomi Message, Romsey Mill’s Youth Development Worker who offers transitions support, in partnership with South City locality workers.

 An after-school group was set up to deliver the course and to support parents with anxious children. It offered peer support for parents, helping them to meet others in the same situation and to share ideas and advice. The parents also learnt about anxiety: what it is, how it manifests itself and how it can be overcome.

The course was attended by 11 parents, whose children ranged from Reception to Year 6. Some parents were specifically invited by the School, but the course was also advertised to the wider school community for other parents to attend

Naomi Message said: “Lots of schools and other professionals have been saying that mental health and anxiety are becoming more prevalent, and have identified that resilience is an important skill to be teaching our children.”

She added: “We have had positive feedback from parents, saying that they have been putting some of the strategies that we discussed in place, with positive results. In view of this success, and the indication that the issue is widespread , we are now looking at how we can replicate the course elsewhere, to be able to support and help other parents and their children who are struggling with anxiety.”