“Bloom taught me new ways of thinking and talking to my teens about mental health”

Tina* works for our corporate partner Lloyds Banking Group and recently attended a workshop for parents and carers run by Bloom. Bloom is our young people's programme which supports 14-18 year olds to build resilience and protect their mental wellbeing. Here Tina talks about how the workshop helped her and her daughters become more open about their mental health.

 

“I am a single mum of three teenage girls. I’ve worked my whole career at Lloyds Banking Group. I heard about the Bloom workshops through the mental health network at work. I signed up because I was aware that my teens were really feeling the impact of the disruption caused by Covid-19. One of them has missed her GCSEs and all those ‘end of an era’ events due to Covid and was feeling a bit lost. They also have friends with mental health problems, including depression, self-harming and eating disorders, who they personally were trying to support and which was often outside their own experience. I felt that the more information and understanding I had on the subject, the better I could understand how to support my girls with their mental health.

I attended the online workshop in March 2021. Honestly, it was the best time I have spent in a long while. It taught me new ways of thinking and talking to my teens about mental health. The session covered really useful, universal topics like how and when to talk to young people about mental health, how to reduce concerns about having these conversations, as well as sharing useful ideas on building teen resilience. It provided a wealth of resources to use as well – both for myself and for my children.

Attending the session helped me to change and become more open with talking to my kids about mental health; asking them outright how they are feeling, rather than skirting around it and hoping they know what I’m talking about. I hadn’t really understood how much they talk about mental health at school, so once we were using the same language it really opened up the conversations, though this didn’t happen overnight.

It’s also reminded me that sometimes just having someone there to listen is a big help – I don’t always have to assume they want me to jump into work mode and find a solution. A lot of the time at this age it’s simply a matter of knowing someone is listening and giving them a space to release the pressures and think things through. But if the situation gets to the point where outside help is needed, now, thanks to what I learned via the Bloom workshop, I know what danger flags to look out for and where to go for help.

I’ve also shown my teens the Bloom videos on topics like resilience and exam stress, which they found useful. A lightbulb moment for them was the one explaining resilience isn’t about immediately bouncing back, like superman/woman but is a learned process that helps in the not-so-fun times, and that it’s normal to have ups and downs in life. I’ve certainly put what I’ve learnt into use, and continue to do so. I’ve shared it with a number of friends, only recently pointing a friend to the online resources for help for her son.

I’d rate this as one of the best sessions I have been to for a long while. If you have teens in your circle – and let’s face it most of us have, either as parents ourselves, or if not through a colleague, friend or relative with children – who may want an independent adult to talk to then Bloom is definitely a worthwhile session to attend. You learn so much that benefits not only your kids, but yourself as well.”

*name has been changed to protect identities

Our virtual festival for young people

Bloom is joining forces with our partner young people programme, Step Up, this summer to put on an exciting virtual festival for young people – Feeling The Summer. Feeling The Summer is a mental health festival for young people (14-19 year olds) taking place between the 9th-13th of August and brought to you by Rethink Mental Illness and Mental Health UK.

The festival aims to support young people’s mental health by providing a range of interactive events such as workshops, panel discussions and Q&A sessions. With 40 Workshops, 15 Live Events and a DJ it promises to be a dynamic and fun week with something for everyone. You can sign up to any of the events here and please spread the word to the parents and young people you know!

Your donation will make the difference

Just £10 could help pay for a call to our advice and information line, supporting someone living with mental illness who may be feeling in distress during this time.

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