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Mental health Awareness Week 2024

This wonderful canvas was created at our Peterborough Youth Club last night by a young person who has had a really tough time over the last few weeks. At Little Miracles we give every opportunity we can for children with additional needs, disabilities and life-limiting conditions to express how they are feeling and access the support and counselling they need.

But we also help their families because holistic support means that family members are in a stringer place to be there for each other. And as the saying goes, you cannot our from an empty cup.

Jill Wagner, our Head of Counselling at Little Miracles, tells us about what Mental Health Awareness means to her and how, as a charity, we can help -

“As most of you will know it’s Mental Health Awareness this week. What does that mean to you?

Some of the families we support simply don’t have the time or energy to prioritise their mental health. As a charity we try to make access to mental health support a priority for our families. The challenges they face make it difficult to prioritise their own wellbeing. Over the last few years demand has been so high that we have had longer waiting lists however with increased help from funders, volunteers and staff, the situation has greatly improved.

So back to the original question, what does mental health mean to you?  We all have mental health, and we all struggle with it at times, just like physical health we need to look after it, and the two are linked. Self-care is a big factor in preventing mental health from declining and preserve our general wellbeing.

Taking a break is difficult for our families but also essential when it can be achieved. A break is time taken for you, in a way that enables you to have physical and mental space. To be alone and to view that as a positive experience is a healthy perspective. If you are fortunate to have people in your life that “feed” you emotionally and will provide practical help that is wonderful, but learning to hold our own hand is essential to mental wellbeing.

Whatever it is that allows you this time and space, learn to recognise and utilise. A break can be as little as 30 minutes, but if we use that 30 minutes to just be quiet and just ‘be us’ the benefit is tremendous.

For our families, it’s hard to take that break and therefore things do build up and they suffer with anxiety, depression and other mental health issues. We are able to offer free or low-cost counselling for parents and a range of therapies for children, this is an invaluable service which we work hard to maintain.

As the clinical lead for Little Miracles I see every day the benefit of the interventions we provide. If you would like to access our mental health services or any of our other services that can also help with mental health, such as family support, befriending, and social occasions, please contact us”