“We don’t want children’s problems to grow with them”
Coinciding with Mental Health Awareness Week, a group of Gloucestershire therapists and counsellors are launching a new support service in the area.
Umbrella offers creative and talking therapies to young people and their families, as well as support for other professionals in education, mental health and social care. The Umbrella website provides online information about these services.
“Although we each work independently and offer different approaches (Art Psychotherapy, Play Therapy, Counselling, Psychotherapy) we were drawn to the idea of offering our services all under one ‘umbrella’. Our user-friendly website makes it simple to find a therapist or counsellor, whether you are a parent looking for support for yourself or seeking someone to work with your child, teenager or young adult” says Nikki Simpson initiator of Umbrella.
Umbrella provides for all ages, from birth to adulthood, as well as parenthood. Lin Revington works with infants and their parents around attachment difficulties and specialises in trauma work with young people; Petro Sollé uses Play Therapy with children from ages 3 , and Saira Todd takes referrals for Arts Psychotherapy for children from 5 years old.
Teenagers are specifically catered for by Nikki Simpson and Rhiannon Duggan who both specialise in counselling for 11-18 year olds, whilst Alida Roberts works with ages 13 upwards, as well as parents.
Parents can also choose support for themselves. This support is available on a one-to-one basis, or in small groups where each parent can address specific issues, or learn to build and enhance the child-parent relationship.
“What we envisage is that people will feel free to contact any one of the therapists for an initial conversation, we can then signpost you to another member of the Umbrella group if that feels more suitable” says Sarah Anderton, an experienced parenting coach and the contact for Umbrella’s professional enquiries.
To tie in with Mental Health Awareness week (mentalhealth.org.uk), Umbrella hopes to bring the message across that there is, indeed, “No Health without Mental Health” and hopes that as a society, we can grow more and be more able to ask for –and accept– support at the point when it is most needed.
The Mental Health Foundation offers the following advice to parents: Children and young people’s negative feelings usually pass. However, it’s a good idea to get help if your child is distressed for a long time, if their negative feelings are stopping them from getting on with their lives, their distress is disrupting family life or they are repeatedly behaving in ways you would not expect at their age.