75% of adult mental health issues begin before the age of 18 and with 1 in ten primary aged children is now struggling with common mental health issue such as anxiety, depression or anger management.
As a Bristol based Solution Focused Therapist I wanted to try and develop a tool for parents and teachers to use to promote coping and resilience behaviour among young children. Silly Limbic – A Tail of Bravery is the first of three books – this one deals with anxiety, the second and third will address resilience to anger and sadness. The characters and their traits are all based on elements of the brain that we use to process and manage emotion. The Limbic system being at the centre of this process.
The book can be used as a stand alone picture book. However, it is designed to be used as a tool to encourage children to identify, discuss and better cope with emotions. To accompany the book I have created a series of lesson plans which can be used by teachers alongside the book and will be downloadable from the website alongside other useful resources.
The learning outcomes of the lessons can be summed up in three stages-
- Don’t believe everything you think! – learning about the bran helps children realise their emotional responses are normal and natural but not always appropriate to the situation as our minds are tricky.
- Feeling your words- helping children to identify and communicate both their feelings and the feelings of others.
- Resilience- learning techniques to cope better such as mindfulness, breathing and knowing when to ask for help.
The recent governmental report by Public Health England, found a direct link between well-being and attainment, schools that have programmes that directly improve students’ social and emotional learning. Therefore, I have done my best to design the lesson plans in accordance to OFSTED’s interest in pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. They also provide a good foundation for the NICE curriculum suggestions of developing of social and emotional skills, including problem-solving, coping, conflict management/ resolution and understanding and managing feelings.
I am looking for schools who may be willing to pilot the book and the lesson plans for free. The idea would be to gather feedback from both teachers and children and take this as a package to publishers to demonstrate its success. As part of this I would be offering the teachers a one hour session to give them an overview of the psychology and science behind the characters and books and to answer any questions they may have.
I would provide each class teacher with an ebook and paperback copy of the book and access to the resources and lesson plans. If the children wish to purchase the book personally it will also be available from the www.sillylimbic.com website or can be arranged through the school if that is preferred.
Please contact Naomi Harvey if you can help: firstname.lastname@example.org