Why I founded a children’s mental health organisation.Emma
Why I founded a children's mental health organisation.
by Emma Bayou-Miindfulness Founder
All children's behaviour is communication. Miindfulness is here to help you translate.
Welcome to my first blog! I’ve been meaning to start writing these for some time now but if I’m honest, I’ve asked myself ‘who would want to read what you have to say?’. I then realised that this was my inner voice being unkind and so, I started writing. I want these blogs to give you some insight into my own experiences with my mental wellbeing, being a parent and to provide a little insight into what’s going on behind the scenes at Miindfulness. Today’s blog is all about what inspired me to found the organisation and why I am determined to help as many children and families as I can.
I can’t remember a time when I haven’t been worried. As a child, I would worry about everything from my friendships, to members of my family dying. Even when life is going well, I often experience a pit in my stomach that seems like it is there to remind me that something terrible is just around the corner. As an adult, I now know that this is anxiety and I work on strategies and tools that I can use to manage how I am feeling when it hits. But, this took time and it needed me to spend years educating myself on mental wellbeing.
I seperated from my now ex-husband 6 months before COVID really hit the UK. During those 6 months, my daughter and I moved out of our family home and into my Mum’s box room, where we shared bunk beds. Eventually, we moved into the home we share now and were just finding our ‘new normal’ when BHAM, lockdown struck. I had a front row seat to watch my confident, articulate 8 year old suffer with her mental health in ways that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. It was as if the ‘perfect storm’ of life challenges she had faced that previous year had stripped away all of the self-esteem and understanding of emotions that I had worked so hard to instill in her. And I had no idea what to do.
I spent days researching ways that I could help her and whilst their is endless information and guidance out there, it didn’t help. There was too much information available for me to know which to follow and none of it told me what I should actually do step-by-step. I felt even worse because I was teaching in schools and providing support to growing numbers of children who were struggling. I had a deep understanding of child development and yet, I still did not know where to begin with helping my own child.
So, I sat with the anxiety, the stress and the guilt. I sat with it for weeks. And then, I made a list of everything I needed. What I had needed when I was a small child filled with fear and dread. What I needed as the Mum racked with uncertainty and guilt and finally, as the educator trying to offer support to more and more children who were struggling with their emotional wellbeing.
That list is Miindfulness.
I want to give children who struggle like I did ways that they can understand what they are feeling and manage it before it becomes overwhelming for them. I want to give parents who don’t know where to turn clear, practical advice that doesn’t make them feel judged and provide useful resources to support their children that don’t cost the earth. I want those who support our children in education settings to have simplified ways to provide that support whilst also being able to juggle their own mental wellbeing in the face of ever-growing workloads.
So, that’s why I founded a children’s mental health organisation. Our team is committed to delivering everything on that list, as well as advocating for an end to stigma and working to address the disadvantages that contribute to poor mental health.
I felt so vulnerable when I started writing this that I nearly didn’t start at all. Now, I feel excited to bring you all with me while we face the excitement and challenges that come with trying to make this world a better place for our children. Until next time, thank you for reading.