Talking Helps to Ligthen the Load – Children’s Mental Health Week
“I don’t want to be carrying all of that around with me, it’s definitely easier to talk!’
The Theme of Children’s Mental Health Week which runs from 3rd – 9th February is Find Your Brave. Cancer Fund for Children’s mission is to empower, connect and strengthen young people and their families so they are able to cope with and beyond cancer.
We look beyond the clinical aspect of a diagnosis as statistics now show that young people affected by cancer are up to six times more likely to face mental health issues, like depression and anxiety, than their peers.
One of our Cancer Support Specialists recently used a backpack and some rocks as a practical tool to encourage a young person, weighed down by the impact of their parent’s cancer to open up about their feelings.
Going for a walk together, every time the young person spoke about something that was making him anxious his Specialist picked up a rock and wrote the worry down. This continued until the backpack was too heavy to carry.
The only option, if they wanted to continue their walk was to get rid of the rocks. They removed them one at a time, each time reading and discussing what was written on the rock before letting go by throwing them into the sea.
At the end of the session only three rocks were left in the backpack, a reminder that you will always have some stress to deal with in life but if you are able to talk about and share your feelings, it is easier to let go.
This is just one example of how our Cancer Support Specialists encourage young people to find practical ways to help them cope better with the emotional impact cancer has on their life.