Children's Mental Health Week takes place every year in February, run by the children's charity Place2Be. Of the 100 plus children and young people supported each year by MAPS, many are struggling with their mental health.
Providing channels for self-expression can really support mental health which is why we have used our monthly MAPS socials to provide activities such as “Art in the Park” and our recent pottery workshop.
Local artist, Maria Pia Jaime, who also runs maternal journaling sessions with Home-Start Sutton, introduced our mentoring pairs to the concept of journaling at our most recent MAPS social for our Mentoring pairs. We all enjoyed it so much that we're going to set up a journaling corner at future socials!
Journaling has long been recognized as an effective way to reduce stress, and to help with depression and anxiety. But what is journaling? It can be anything you want it to be, and it's the process that counts, rather than the end result. It's like having a personal space where you can express your thoughts, feelings and experiences. Collages, pictures, drawings, photos, words - whatever speaks to you.
It was great to see everyone get so involved and express themselves and so lovely to hear our young people tell us afterwards that they felt calmer.
Thank you to everyone who came along. And thank you to Maria!