Young people’s mental health is something that I am hoping we will be doing A LOT of sessions on! This week at Rascals was the first of our Healthy Mind, Healthy Soul weeks. The aim of this session was to get young people thinking about how to look after their minds and in a very basic way raise their awareness of mental health. We started with rolling playdough into very long ‘worms’ and they had to guess what we were going to make with them. They were not helped by my poor attempts to construct a brain from play doh! This was the result (and what the brain is supposed to look like…) and despite the poor reproduction we got to talk about the different parts of the brain and what they do!We found that our mind is VERY COMPLICATED, how we think can affects how we feel and that we need to look after our minds. So we did some singing – very good for the mind in general but we sang a song that is literally good for our minds and souls. ” We all need encouragement ” by Fischy music. Listen here. We All Need Encouragement – It’s such a good song. After that we played table tennis that is scientifically proven to be the best sport for your brain! (Good for focus, hand-eye coordination, concentration and something to do with the hippocampus?? Anyway it was fun!) To get us thinking about what we spend our time thinking about we outlined our silhouette and then drew what is in our heads. Here’s one. Notice the ‘Anger’ character from the brilliant movie ‘Inside Out’!
At the end we did our Healthy Soul bit. We talked about Philippians 4:6-9 which tells us not to be anxious about anything, to say thank you to God, bring our requests to God and to think about things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable……and that the PEACE of GOD will be with you. (What a good plan for our own mental health!) So that’s what we did. We wrote about our worries, things that we are thankful for and our requests and we put them on our ‘Philippians prayer tree.’ We will be using our Philippians prayer tree to talk and pray about what is going on in our lives a lot over the next few weeks.