Free Mental Health Taster for Families this Summer

Teenagers and their parents are set to benefit from free mental health and wellbeing taster courses thanks to a partnership between Shawmind and Newark & Sherwood District Council.

The East Midlands mental health and wellbeing charity and its associate trainer, Tana Macpherson-Smith from Clearminds Education, are offering one-hour taster sessions of their Monkey Wisdom courses to teens and their parents over the next two weeks, as the summer holidays begin.

Awareness of the importance of good mental health and wellbeing had been on the rise even before Covid-19 struck, but the pandemic has pulled the looming crisis into sharp focus, particularly in young people.

Research by MHFA England suggests that half of mental ill health starts by the age of 15 and 75% develops by the age of 18.

To address this and to help reassure pupils and parents ahead of the planned return to school in September, Shawmind has partnered with Newark & Sherwood District Council to deliver two free  live sessions for parents and their children on YouTube.

The first Monkey Wisdom session, for teenagers, will be streamed live on Shawmind’s YouTube channel on Thursday 30th July, 6pm-7pm. Parents will have access to their own dedicated session a week later, on Friday 7th  August, 6pm-7pm.

Anyone who is concerned about their teenager’s emotional and mental health or who would simply benefit from some pointers on how to start conversations about mental health with their children, should join the free session. 

Tana Macpherson-Smith, Founder of Clearminds Education, said: “At a time when we are experiencing health concerns and conditions previously unknown to most of us, the anticipated return to school in September has caused many children and parents to become understandably anxious about the possible impact of the new-look school system under the Covid19 regime.

“This one-hour training will address the key areas of concern for both teenagers and parents; explore the prevalent emotions at this difficult time and provide seven simple steps to help support your child as they prepare for their return to school.” 

Peter Wingrove, Operations Director at Shawmind, said: “We are delighted to be working with Tana and Newark & Sherwood District Council to offer these free sessions to teenagers and parents.

“We are aware that anxiety can have a lasting impact on an individual’s mental health and long-term wellbeing, so by equipping teenagers and their parents with the tools to acknowledge, address and resolve anxiety, we’re hoping that young people will return to school in September feeling much more reassured.

“The Monkey Wisdom courses have been proving popular with children, teenagers and parents across the country, but thanks to our partnership with the council, we’re excited to be able to offer these taster sessions to our community.”

Anyone interested in watching the free sessions should tune into the Shawmind YouTube channel from 6pm on either Thursday 30th July or Friday 7th August to watch the live stream, here:

For more information about Shawmind’s extensive training courses for children visit the website