'Back on Track' Bereavement support for children & young people
"I have learned that I'm not mad and it is ok to have bad days"
Children and young people aged 4 to 18 who are finding it difficult to adjust to their loss and who live in the High Peak area are welcome to make use of services at Blythe House offered by our "Back on Track" project.
Bereaved children and young people
Children and young people can find a bereavement traumatic. It can upset their feelings, the way they think and the way they behave. It is common for bereaved children to have low self-esteem and many say they feel abnormal, unacceptable or different from other young people. Often the adults around these children have found it hard to know how to talk to them about death and have been misleading or even avoided the subject. Also many don't know that the way they feel is normal for someone who is bereaved.
Research shows that bereaved children can be disadvantaged throughout their lives if they are not given the kind of help that we provide. Bereaved children are more likely than their peers to miss school and are more susceptible to illness, drug abuse, bullying and self-harm. They can also be more depressed, have more mood swings and anger issues. The high levels of anxiety bereaved children tend to face every day mean that even when they are in school, they are unlikely to meet their potential. Some bereaved children also feel isolated. Recent research identifies the effect of a trauma such as bereavement on the developing brain and the difference counselling can make in repairing neural pathways.
The "Back on Track" service
The aim of the project is to offer counselling or play therapy either on an individual basis or in a group. Children and young people usually work with their counsellor or play therapist for an hour a week over a period of time. This is a chance for them to express their feelings, sometimes through talking but more often through play or creative activities. We have a therapy room that has been specially adapted and filled with toys, games, craft materials and other resources that children can use to express themselves and work through their issues.
This project is funded by Children in Need. The vision of Children in Need is that every child in the UK has a childhood which is safe, happy and secure and which allows them the chance to reach their potential. Consistent with their aims, we make a difference to our young clients in three main areas.
"I'm better now than when I first came. I really enjoyed the memory boxes"
- They will have less emotional and psychological distress.
- They will be more able to cope with changes in circumstances.
- They will have greater self-esteem and wellbeing.