As a child, I loved Noddy because he was allowed a car. Then in the first book he tries to build a house by putting the roof on first, to keep himself and Big Ears dry while they build the rest. Well done, Noddy.
Unfortunately, an equally sound logic can apply to our care of young people. We wait for signs of struggle: only seeking answers to students’ dissociation from the world when they drop off education’s conveyor belt. Young people and their families are told their problems are not severe enough to merit access to the support they need. There is the risk of stigma: a 14 year old told she’ll ‘grow out of it’, or is ‘too young to have problems.’ Just as life’s foundations seem to be crumbling, we can make it hard for people to rebuild. Perhaps all meant in a spirit of love and care, but still the Toytown world of roof-tiling without the walls of support.
Introducing: Innovating Minds. Dr Asha Patel came to Method wanting to fire up the turbo rockets of support for young people in schools. As a Clinical Psychologist, Asha has worked across a span of ages and environments: from those in communities to those in jail. Her experience shows the rich worth of early intervention; having help reachable in pre-adult life. As Asha says: “Surely we should be offering specialist mental health support when it is wanted not needed?” Providing students, families and teachers with assessable tools that foster emotional wellbeing, makes the available accessible – and makes absolute sense.
So much so, Method has collaborated with Asha by slashing its costs. Every now and then someone comes along with an idea for which they have an infectious passion. When it’s a social enterprise like Innovating Minds, that ploughs its profits back into the social mission to help more people, it’s hard not to get excited about it.
We’ve created an eye-popping booklet that details the different services on offer, helping students cope with everything from exams to bullies, sex to drugs. We’ve set up a website placing resources at hand. And we’re telling anyone who’ll listen that Innovating Minds’ work offers the supportive jet pack of emotional resiliency that means young people can shoot for the stars and have the fuel to get there.