Resilience in children and young people; a short guide

 

Resilience is the ability to mentally or emotionally cope with a crisis or to return to pre-crisis status quickly. Resilience refers to the ability to manage change, to maintain and restore mental health and wellbeing, particularly after an adverse event. With resilience people are better able to shift back along the mental health continuum towards good mental health. It’s not something that is static, but it is something that can change over time due to experiences and circumstance.

Resilience is different for different people. Specific situations or events that one person may find challenging, another may not. Furthermore, a child or young person’s ability to be resilient can depend upon many things, and their resilience may vary.

Resilience is particularly important for children and young people. The experience of moving from being a child to becoming an adult is something that occurs over a relatively short period of time. It involves a number of rapid changes in physical, psychological and social development, and these can present numerous challenges to children and young people. Children and young people who are more resilient are better able to stay on track with the biological, psychological and social demands of growing up and becoming an adult.

The Wishing Well foundation

The Wishing Well was established in 2010 to offer children in out-of-home care, such as foster care and residential care, a range of healing and treatment options usually not accessible as a free therapy in mainstream health.

The Wishing Well raises funds to enable children and young people to access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments shown to be highly effective in dealing with severe trauma and neglect. These therapies respond to the unique needs of each child and young person.

The Wishing Well is a not-for-profit incorporated charity organisation, established and managed by people seeking to improve outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care and their families. The Wishing Well recognises the importance of the act of giving. We recognise the significance of the participation of community members and all donations are most appreciated.

The Wishing Well operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment.

Support the Wishing Well

The Wishing Well uses its funds to help children in need access all manners of developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments. The Wishing Well takes referrals for any child/young person in out-of-home care in NSW.  Applications are assessed by qualified personnel and on a case-by-case basis.  The decision to fund an application is affected by the following:

  • Funding availability
  • The support the child/young person has to access the proposed therapies
  • The capacity and willingness of the Carer Household to support the child/young person
  • Assessment, which recommends and supports the proposed therapy as relevant to meeting the particular needs of the child/young person

The Wishing Well gratefully receives donations, funding and resources through bequests, corporate partnerships, fundraising events, grants, online donations and other fund raising activities. Money donated to The Wishing Well enables traumatised children access to healing therapies. Please see our website for more information:

http://thewishingwell.org.au/

 

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Diet and nutrition; how parents and schools can encourage healthy eating habits

 

Parents and schools can join the mission to encourage children and young people to consider health eating habits. Start when children are young and make mealtimes a relaxing time. Ensure everyone eats together at mealtimes, around the dinner table rather than in front of the TV. The best way to encourage healthy eating in your children is to model the behaviour for them – be a good role model with the food you eat yourself. Talk positively about the healthy foods you eat and buy and encourage children to drink water throughout the day. You could even plant a small vege patch in your backyard that children can be responsible for.

Schools can ensure they only serve healthy options in their canteens and vending machines. Schools can incorporate mid-lesson breaks where children are allowed to eat fruit and veges in the classroom, and students can be allowed to always bring water bottles into the classroom. Schools can get the students together to build vege patches in their gardens and begin cooking lessons once the veges grow. And of course, teachers should model the behaviour they wish to see in their students – by bringing their own healthy foods for lunch.

The Wishing Well foundation

The Wishing Well was established in 2010 to offer children in out-of-home care, such as foster care and residential care, a range of healing and treatment options usually not accessible as a free therapy in mainstream health.

The Wishing Well raises funds to enable children and young people to access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments shown to be highly effective in dealing with severe trauma and neglect. These therapies respond to the unique needs of each child and young person.

The Wishing Well is a not-for-profit incorporated charity organisation, established and managed by people seeking to improve outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care and their families. The Wishing Well recognises the importance of the act of giving. We recognise the significance of the participation of community members and all donations are most appreciated.

The Wishing Well operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment.

Support the Wishing Well

The Wishing Well uses its funds to help children in need access all manners of developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments. The Wishing Well takes referrals for any child/young person in out-of-home care in NSW.  Applications are assessed by qualified personnel and on a case-by-case basis.  The decision to fund an application is affected by the following:

  • Funding availability
  • The support the child/young person has to access the proposed therapies
  • The capacity and willingness of the Carer Household to support the child/young person
  • Assessment, which recommends and supports the proposed therapy as relevant to meeting the particular needs of the child/young person

The Wishing Well gratefully receives donations, funding and resources through bequests, corporate partnerships, fundraising events, grants, online donations and other fund raising activities. Money donated to The Wishing Well enables traumatised children access to healing therapies. Please see our website for more information:

http://thewishingwell.org.au/

 

What are some of the ways diet and nutrition can affect mental health?

 

Diet and nutrition can affect mental health in a number of ways. When we have poor nutrition, this can greatly affect our body’s composition. Nutrient deficiencies have been associated with mental health conditions including depression and anxiety. Fruits and vegetables, grains, fish, lean red meats and olive oils are rich in important nutrients such as folate, magnesium, vitamins and zinc, which all impact on body and brain functions including mood regulation.

Poor nutrition can also affect the immune system, and this holds links to mental health functioning. High-fat, high-sugar diets can affect proteins in the body that are important for brain development, so it’s important not to consume too many of these poor nutrition choices. Iron deficiency has been linked to cognitive function impairments associated with learning and memory, and food insecurity is a psychological stressor. Food insecurity is the state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food, which can cause high levels of stress. High levels of ongoing stress have been related to depression and cognitive deficits.

Fortunately, improving what you eat can lead to improvements in your mental health and wellbeing.

The Wishing Well foundation

The Wishing Well was established in 2010 to offer children in out-of-home care, such as foster care and residential care, a range of healing and treatment options usually not accessible as a free therapy in mainstream health.

The Wishing Well raises funds to enable children and young people to access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments shown to be highly effective in dealing with severe trauma and neglect. These therapies respond to the unique needs of each child and young person.

The Wishing Well is a not-for-profit incorporated charity organisation, established and managed by people seeking to improve outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care and their families. The Wishing Well recognises the importance of the act of giving. We recognise the significance of the participation of community members and all donations are most appreciated.

The Wishing Well operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment.

Support the Wishing Well

The Wishing Well uses its funds to help children in need access all manners of developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments. The Wishing Well takes referrals for any child/young person in out-of-home care in NSW.  Applications are assessed by qualified personnel and on a case-by-case basis.  The decision to fund an application is affected by the following:

  • Funding availability
  • The support the child/young person has to access the proposed therapies
  • The capacity and willingness of the Carer Household to support the child/young person
  • Assessment, which recommends and supports the proposed therapy as relevant to meeting the particular needs of the child/young person

The Wishing Well gratefully receives donations, funding and resources through bequests, corporate partnerships, fundraising events, grants, online donations and other fund raising activities. Money donated to The Wishing Well enables traumatised children access to healing therapies. Please see our website for more information:

http://thewishingwell.org.au/

 

Nutrition and mental health; what are the links?

 

There are many documented links between nutrition and mental health. Good nutritional choices do affect mental health and wellbeing, and it also serves to promote and maintain healthy brain development in children and young people.

When children and young people make healthy eating choices, they feel better about themselves and their bodies, they are able to cope more effectively with stress, they can better manage their emotions and are more likely to get a good night’s sleep. This in turn serves to assist their learning, helping them focus at school and in their studies.

A lot of the research done on mental health and nutrition has focused on adults – in findings that good nutrition is associated with better mental health outcomes, whereas a poor diet is associated with a greater risk of depression and anxiety. However, emerging research on children and young adults has found that there is a relationship between unhealthy diets and poorer mental health outcomes.  There is a link between externalising behaviour (such as hyperactivity, aggression, disobedience) and one’s diet. Poor nutrition has also been linked to emotional and behavioural problems and increased learning difficulties – poor nutrition affects concentration and increases tiredness, which then interferes with learning. All of this – children’s behaviour, emotional stability and academic performance – improves when good quality food choices are made.

The Wishing Well foundation

The Wishing Well was established in 2010 to offer children in out-of-home care, such as foster care and residential care, a range of healing and treatment options usually not accessible as a free therapy in mainstream health.

The Wishing Well raises funds to enable children and young people to access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments shown to be highly effective in dealing with severe trauma and neglect. These therapies respond to the unique needs of each child and young person.

The Wishing Well is a not-for-profit incorporated charity organisation, established and managed by people seeking to improve outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care and their families. The Wishing Well recognises the importance of the act of giving. We recognise the significance of the participation of community members and all donations are most appreciated.

The Wishing Well operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment.

Support the Wishing Well

The Wishing Well uses its funds to help children in need access all manners of developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments. The Wishing Well takes referrals for any child/young person in out-of-home care in NSW.  Applications are assessed by qualified personnel and on a case-by-case basis.  The decision to fund an application is affected by the following:

  • Funding availability
  • The support the child/young person has to access the proposed therapies
  • The capacity and willingness of the Carer Household to support the child/young person
  • Assessment, which recommends and supports the proposed therapy as relevant to meeting the particular needs of the child/young person

The Wishing Well gratefully receives donations, funding and resources through bequests, corporate partnerships, fundraising events, grants, online donations and other fund raising activities. Money donated to The Wishing Well enables traumatised children access to healing therapies. Please see our website for more information:

http://thewishingwell.org.au/

 

Anxiety in children and young people; what can you do to help?

 

In a school environment, for children and young people whose anxiety is less severe, there are a number of social and emotional learning (SEL) programs that can build resilience and coping strategies. If you’re an educator, or as a parent or carer, there are also a number of ways you can help to support children and young people experiencing anxiety;

  • Give children and young people language to label how they’re feeling, so they can learn to identify their emotions.
  • Give them notice prior to transitions, to help them prepare for change.
  • You can help children and young people understand that being anxious, particularly when confronting new situations, is ‘normal’, but also that there are strategies for managing anxious feelings.
  • Help them recognise their own internal cues that they’re becoming anxious. Identify and practise strategies that help them to manage their anxiety and calm down, for example deep breathing techniques may help.
  • Help children and young people recall situations where they’ve succeeded despite being anxious, to strengthen their self-belief they can cope with and manage their anxiety.
  • Help them understand that avoiding those things that make them anxious, while useful as a short-term fix, is likely to make things harder in the future.
  • Talk about effective and helpful strategies you use yourself to manage anxiety or stress. For example: talking to friends, positive self-talk, exercise and other relaxation strategies.

The Wishing Well foundation

The Wishing Well was established in 2010 to offer children in out-of-home care, such as foster care and residential care, a range of healing and treatment options usually not accessible as a free therapy in mainstream health.

The Wishing Well raises funds to enable children and young people to access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments shown to be highly effective in dealing with severe trauma and neglect. These therapies respond to the unique needs of each child and young person.

The Wishing Well is a not-for-profit incorporated charity organisation, established and managed by people seeking to improve outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care and their families. The Wishing Well recognises the importance of the act of giving. We recognise the significance of the participation of community members and all donations are most appreciated.

The Wishing Well operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment.

Support the Wishing Well

The Wishing Well uses its funds to help children in need access all manners of developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments. The Wishing Well takes referrals for any child/young person in out-of-home care in NSW.  Applications are assessed by qualified personnel and on a case-by-case basis.  The decision to fund an application is affected by the following:

  • Funding availability
  • The support the child/young person has to access the proposed therapies
  • The capacity and willingness of the Carer Household to support the child/young person
  • Assessment, which recommends and supports the proposed therapy as relevant to meeting the particular needs of the child/young person

The Wishing Well gratefully receives donations, funding and resources through bequests, corporate partnerships, fundraising events, grants, online donations and other fund raising activities. Money donated to The Wishing Well enables traumatised children access to healing therapies. Please see our website for more information:

http://thewishingwell.org.au/

 

Anxiety in children and young people; what signs should we look out for?

 

In Australia, the estimate is that 1 in 14 children suffer from anxiety, which can result from a range of factors including difficult or traumatic life experiences. Though as a parent or carer it is not your role to diagnose a mental health issue, there are some signs that you can look out for in case you need to seek further assistance and advice.

In early childhood, some of the signs of an anxious child include;

  • Clingy behaviour or taking a long time to settle down following separation from a family member, and this happening on a regular basis.
  • Frequent severe tantrums – more so than other children of a similar age.
  • Low interest or significant reluctance to interact in social situations, and an unwillingness to get involved in unfamiliar activities.
  • Significant difficulty or distress during change or transitions.

In the primary school years, some symptoms of children experiencing anxiety include;

  • Wanting things to be perfect.
  • Reluctance to ask for help or, conversely, asking too much for reassurance may also be a sign of being overly anxious.
  • Difficulty joining in with class discussion, sports or games.
  • Frequent requests to go to sick bay with stomach aches and headaches.
  • Challenging behaviour – ‘acting out’ when they become overwhelmed by a task or situation.

The Wishing Well foundation

The Wishing Well was established in 2010 to offer children in out-of-home care, such as foster care and residential care, a range of healing and treatment options usually not accessible as a free therapy in mainstream health.

The Wishing Well raises funds to enable children and young people to access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments shown to be highly effective in dealing with severe trauma and neglect. These therapies respond to the unique needs of each child and young person.

The Wishing Well is a not-for-profit incorporated charity organisation, established and managed by people seeking to improve outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care and their families. The Wishing Well recognises the importance of the act of giving. We recognise the significance of the participation of community members and all donations are most appreciated.

The Wishing Well operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment.

Support the Wishing Well

The Wishing Well uses its funds to help children in need access all manners of developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments. The Wishing Well takes referrals for any child/young person in out-of-home care in NSW.  Applications are assessed by qualified personnel and on a case-by-case basis.  The decision to fund an application is affected by the following:

  • Funding availability
  • The support the child/young person has to access the proposed therapies
  • The capacity and willingness of the Carer Household to support the child/young person
  • Assessment, which recommends and supports the proposed therapy as relevant to meeting the particular needs of the child/young person

The Wishing Well gratefully receives donations, funding and resources through bequests, corporate partnerships, fundraising events, grants, online donations and other fund raising activities. Money donated to The Wishing Well enables traumatised children access to healing therapies. Please see our website for more information:

http://thewishingwell.org.au/

 

Anxiety in children and young people; how does it develop?

 

Anxiety in children – and adults – is often caused by a multitude of factors in combination, rather than one single factor. These can include someone’s own personality, some difficult life experiences and their physical health. Five common underlying reasons that can cause anxiety conditions to flare up include; a family history of mental health conditions, personality, a learned response to situations, ongoing stressful situations and physical health issues.

Family history; Children experiencing anxiety may have a genetic disposition towards the condition, if it runs in the family. It’s important to remember, however, that having someone in the family experiencing anxiety or other mental health conditions doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll develop anxiety as well.

Personality; According to research, certain personality traits are more likely to experience anxiety. The studies have shown that children who exhibit personality traits such as perfectionism, being easily flustered, timidness, inhibition, a lack of self-esteem or wanting to control everything, can sometimes go on to develop anxiety.

Learned response; Children and young people may mistakenly learn anxiety as a response to stressful situations. As anxiousness develops, they may learn that the world is a dangerous place, compounding their anxiety, and they may not learn any positive ways to deal with or cope with the situations that caused them anxiety.

Ongoing stress; Stressful or traumatic events can trigger anxiety in children. These can include; changing schools or living arrangements, family relationship problems, stressful or traumatic events, bullying, loss of a loved one.

Physical health issues; Chronic illnesses can contribute to feelings of anxiety in children and young people, and they can also impact on the treatment of either the anxiety or the physical illness itself. Studies show that there can be a medical cause for feelings of anxiety, and the common chronic conditions associated with anxiety include diabetes, asthma and hypertension and heart disease.

The Wishing Well foundation

The Wishing Well was established in 2010 to offer children in out-of-home care, such as foster care and residential care, a range of healing and treatment options usually not accessible as a free therapy in mainstream health.

The Wishing Well raises funds to enable children and young people to access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments shown to be highly effective in dealing with severe trauma and neglect. These therapies respond to the unique needs of each child and young person.

The Wishing Well is a not-for-profit incorporated charity organisation, established and managed by people seeking to improve outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care and their families. The Wishing Well recognises the importance of the act of giving. We recognise the significance of the participation of community members and all donations are most appreciated.

The Wishing Well operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment.

Support the Wishing Well

The Wishing Well uses its funds to help children in need access all manners of developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments. The Wishing Well takes referrals for any child/young person in out-of-home care in NSW.  Applications are assessed by qualified personnel and on a case-by-case basis.  The decision to fund an application is affected by the following:

  • Funding availability
  • The support the child/young person has to access the proposed therapies
  • The capacity and willingness of the Carer Household to support the child/young person
  • Assessment, which recommends and supports the proposed therapy as relevant to meeting the particular needs of the child/young person

The Wishing Well gratefully receives donations, funding and resources through bequests, corporate partnerships, fundraising events, grants, online donations and other fund raising activities. Money donated to The Wishing Well enables traumatised children access to healing therapies. Please see our website for more information:

http://thewishingwell.org.au/