By Lisa James
This week is Children’s Mental Health Week with the theme Find Your Brave.
Bravery looks different for everyone. It can be about showing vulnerability and asking for help, sharing worries, trying something new or pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. This can be really difficult for adults, never mind children, so it’s fantastic to focus on what bravery means as it’s different for everyone at different times in life.
Over the past 12 months, I’ve had numerous opportunities to find my own bravery. Last year I trained with Rites for Girls CIC to become a Facilitator to run Girls Journeying Together groups which has been both challenging and inspiring, and I’ve certainly had to find my brave on many occasions. To work with children in any capacity is a privilege as well as a responsibility and at Rites for Girls we are supported to deal with our unfinished business from childhood before stepping into the role of Facilitator. This enables us to be the best mentors possible for the preteen and teen girls and not bring our own ‘stuff’ into Girls Journeying Together group, as we work with the girls to help them to find their voice.
In this first year I’ve attended three 9-day residentials, written assignments, had my own counselling sessions, engaged in peer group work, arranged a public talk at a local school, and gave a BBC radio interview and I’m now at the point where I’ll ready to run my first Girls Journeying Together group this spring. I’m nervous and excited in equal measure and will need to once again step out of my comfort zone and findmybrave when I run my first session, but I know I’ll be fine. This is because, during the course of my training, I’ve discovered:
- It’s okay to show vulnerability and ask for help;
- I have a group of people around me to support me – I’m not doing this alone;
- I don’t have to be perfect – mistakes are good and where I do my best learning;
- I know I’m well-equipped to support the girls in my Girls Journeying Together group (and by extension, their mothers) as I know the power of these groups to help build confidence, self-esteem and resilience. I’ve experienced it through my training and it’s phenomenally powerful. I can’t wait to meet the girls and their mums in March and get started!
Where do you findyourbrave? How do you help your child find hers?
Lisa is a Rites for Girls Facilitator offering Girls Journeying Together groups in Wallasey, Merseyside. To register click here for Lisa’s free taster sessions.