Mental Health Awareness Week: discussion with a Children’s Counsellor

Children and Young Persons Counsellor, Suki, gives us an insight into his role and discusses the importance of having emotional support both pre and post bereavement

Mental Health Awareness Week: discussion with a Children’s Counsellor

This Mental Health Awareness Week we sat down with our Childrens & Young Persons Counsellor, Suki, to discuss the importance of his role and the impact that it has on children and young people who receive his support. 

“I manage the Children and Young People’s (CYP) counselling service, and carry out assessments, provide support to the wider team, as well as look after my own counselling caseload. Like the NHS, we provide 6-12 sessions and are then able to refer on to other service providers after those have finished, if need be. 

The children and young people that we support all have a connection to Rennie Grove Peace – for example if a family member is or was under our care. They may need counselling and emotional support to help them come to terms with their situation – whether that be helping them to cope pre or post bereavement. We aim to help them come to terms with a family member no longer being in their life and offer support to help them deal with the effects of a sibling living with a life-limiting illness. 

I feel that it’s very important to have the CYP counselling service as it allows children and young people to open the doors to express how they’re feeling. I’ve seen a major difference occur in the children and young people we support, from when we first meet to when the sessions finish.  

I think the space that the sessions provide is so needed – it allows them to get away from the chaos of life and find some stability. Some children come to the first sessions not wanting to engage, but by session two or three they start talking and expressing how they’re feeling. Giving them that space lets them reflect on what has happened, that a family member has died, and their emotions, is so important.  

Counselling provides a neutral and non-judgement space for both children and adults. A space for them to express their thoughts, their feelings, their emotions, and encourages open dialogue too. Having that space, understanding and atmosphere to empathise with the child enables them to start to understand how their mind works, and to navigate their feelings.” 

Mental Health Awareness Week runs from Monday 13 May – Sunday 19 May