iSpace Wellbeing Children’s Advisory Board

We were delighted to be invited to join the first iSpace Wellbeing Children’s Advisory Board, made up of children of primary school age, hosted by Paula Talman, iSpace Founder and Mental Health campaigner Hope Virgo. 

Esme (Year 7) and Lucas (Year 8) joined in the discussions which focused on a wide range of issues surrounding the mental health of our young people. They looked at social anxieties as a result of lockdown and the difficulties and frustrations of online learning, as well as the role of social media. The children shared tips on how to help yourself during learning, and discovered that other people had the same thoughts and concerns. Everyone was given the chance to express their opinions. 

Lucas reports:

I learned that mental health is very important and that we should be more considerate and concerned about if people are in a bad state of mind. I thought it was fun experience because we got to talk about interesting subjects like how lockdown has affected us more on screens and social media and the difficulties of online learning. I thought everyone’s opinions were good and well thought about, and it was interesting what everyone else thought.  I felt good when I was in the meeting, I felt that when I said my questions everyone heard them and I did the same to them. I also felt quite calm and no one would judge each other’s opinions. I felt I was making a difference and that some of my questions were good. I told them about how online school is for me and what I do in the lessons, free time and how I keep myself entertained. I thoroughly enjoyed this and I would like to do more of this in the future. 

Esme added:

‘Paula said she would include everyone’s opinions and she did. I learnt there is no right or wrong and I felt more confident. We talked about the effects social media could bring, and how companies and gaming companies could help children’s mental health.  We also talked about LGBTQ+ and and thought about what we would ask Boris Johnson to do for children’s mental health.’

Dulwich Prep Cranbrook introduced the iSpace Wellbeing programme in September 2019, and all children have timetabled lessons where they have a chance to explore their emotions and look at important life skills such as resilience. We are looking forward to welcoming Paula this week, when she leads workshops for all ages discussing life in lockdown and offering tips and advice.