It's OK To Say: A spotlight on children's mental health

PUBLISHED: 11:22 05 June 2019

A Relax Kids, St Albans, session in action

A Relax Kids, St Albans, session in action

Archant

A St Albans children's coach is helping kids to relax and enjoy good mental health through sessions which include movement, playing, stretching, breathing and believing.

Charlotte Clark of Relax Kids, St Albans runs the classes which she says have a huge effect on children's mental health and well-being. She spoke to us as part of our It's OK To Say awareness campaign.

The Herts Ad partnered with anxiety specialist, Stacey Turner, to launch the campaign which encourages people of all ages to speak out about mental health concerns before they escalate and obtain the support needed to have a healthy and happy life.

Relax Kids is in its 20th year and the St Albans classes are in various locations for ages three - 18.

Charlotte, who teaches relaxation and mindfulness to children, was inspired by her own childhood to pursue a career in this field.

Her brother, Tom, has learning disabilities and when she was younger she felt like she could have benefitted from a way to engage with her emotions around that.

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Charlotte said: "We are taught from a young age how to read, write and do timetables, yet understanding that anger is a mask for other emotions, or that worrying is normal but there are ways to manage it, is left off the curriculum.

"Learning to cope with emotions and take care of our mental health should be as normal as maths and literacy lessons."

Charlotte added: "If I can leave just one child feeling more positive and confident, then that's a successful day and I will continue until this sort of provision is available to every child, teen and person in need of support."

It's OK To Say campaign founder Stacey said: "When I discovered Charlotte's classes, I couldn't wait to learn more about this nurturing approach.

"For a child to learn that it's OK to feel and how to manage these emotions is a vital life lesson in self control - skills that can be carried forward into adulthood. Something can be going on around you, yet you can draw on these learnt skills to not allow it to impact you and control how you respond.

"I can't help but feel that the calming and inspiring atmosphere where she is able to intuitively connect and inspire the children partly stems from her own background. She is a treasure and we are lucky to have these classes available."

To find out more about signing up for Relax Kids classes in St Albans, visit www.relaxkids.com

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