Small Things That Made A Difference

It's The Small Things That Made A Difference 

I was part of a group of parents that went to meet the school counselling coordinator. I went along because I was excited about what mental health and well-being could look like for children and young people. It is a total passion for me. I wanted to see what was happening around mental health and wellbeing. With everything that has happened within the last few years, to see it being highlighted within the school for the pupils, there seemed to be a sense of possibility and that excited me.  

I was nervous before going, I was unsure about meeting new people. I wondered how I would come across, what she and other people would think of me and what I would say. I was flustered going into somewhere strange. I felt a wee bit panicky. 
The welcome we got made me feel less nervous. The people were so welcoming and just relaxed. They were human, smiled, we had a blether, a laugh, it broke the ice, and we had a wee cup of tea. The welcome and the positivity from everyone made me feel welcome.

I think what was going through my mind was that ‘I’ve heard all this before’….and it never appears.  But through the meeting, she was saying ‘well, this is in place…and this…’ The evidence was there within the meeting, to say that ‘we’re working hard and we’re going to do this, we’re not just telling you stories, it’s actually happening’.  She was also very honest. She admitted that the waiting lists are longer than they want them to be, but that they were trying to work on cutting that down and I believed her. It was good to know that things were in place, and she was able to give us some real, concrete examples.  I felt exhilarated after the meeting because I can see so many possibilities.

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Small Things

Your experience of WM2U

We’re moving into a ‘Super School’, they’re going to be very busy.  You feel sometimes that the parents have issues that they contact school with…..they could contact us, that would take away some of the workload as well. It helps in many ways.

It was just something I thought would be a good thing, because there’s a lot of the members that were maybe struggling at times.  I’ve always thought it was more valuable to walk and talk…..what’s more important is listening to the sounds about you. It takes their mind away from what’s the issue and relaxes them a bit more and makes them more able to share.  I thought ‘let’s try this’….and see how it goes.

Change in the community is not going to happen overnight.  It’s all about gaining trust. You have to build that bond up with someone, get them to come in, have tea and chat, feel welcome, non-judgemental, informal, friendly, confidential, ‘just normal’. It takes time. We have to keep the chat going.