Introducing Archie…

…the latest member of Golden Tree CIC!

Protecting mental health: Why?

Whilst we can’t protect children and young people from all the things that may cause them distress throughout their lives, we can however help them to become even more resilient so that they are more able to remain positive and cope with life’s uncertainties and problems. Often, mental health issues including depression, anxiety and conduct disorder are often a direct response to what is happening in our lives and these affect about 1 in 10 children and young people. Therefore, as resilience is the ability to adapt and bounce back when things don’t go as planned and because resilient people don’t wallow or dwell on failures but rather they acknowledge the situation, learn from mistakes, have the ability to recover from setbacks, adapt well to change, and are then able to move forward (even in the face of adversity)… surely then, our support is really important in helping children and young people to become more resilient.

Social relationships play a huge role in our emotional wellbeing; feeling connected to others is a strong protector of mental health, and our emotions, very often linked to these social relationships, are a fundamental part of the human experience. It is often assumed that understanding all of this comes naturally but perhaps, like every skill, becoming more emotionally intelligent requires nurturing, encouragement and practice. There is growing evidence that positive socio-emotional skills such as paying attention, understanding emotions and effective interpersonal skills not only support wellbeing but also increase academic outcomes and are essential to a well-rounded education and future achievement (in fact, employers seek those skills).

Therefore, as these skills (and their associated knowledge and understanding) don’t in fact just happen, rather than being leaving to chance, they do need to be specifically taught. 

So, what have we developed?

Introducing ‘Archie’…Archie is an anteater who is all about building more awareness, resilience, compassion and mental health into education. As you probably aware, anteaters love to eat ants and Archie is no different in this. However, Archie is very special because the ants he eats are automatic negative thoughts.
We all have these ANTs (Automatic Negative Thoughts). They’re not necessarily something we are particularly aware of but they can have a significant and unhelpful impact on the way in which we function if they’re not kept under control. It is for this very reason that we all need to be more like Archie.

How does it work?

‘B more Archie’ is a  6 session programme that has been specifically designed and developed  to teach children young people a range of resilience building and self-soothing strategies to help them to be more like Archie and to ‘eat’ their ANTS (Automatic Negative Thoughts). The theory base for the programme is CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Tools) and TA (Transactional Analysis).

The programme is flexible by design and can be delivered universally [recommended] and/or as a targeted intervention. As well as the teaching of resilience-building activities and self-soothing strategies, it covers personal awareness development, thinking skills and cognitive tools, emotional literacy development, positive behavior choices, taking control of mental health and building compassion.

Each session begins with an activity to build self-esteem and ends with a practical strategy for building resilience and self-soothing.

Our 1-day training course allows participants to become a certified Facilitator of the programme and this is an experiential day meaning that the staffs’ wellbeing is also being supported and developed.

We have two options for accessing ‘B more Archie’: One way is by attending one of our Facilitator training courses or we will come to your venue and train a maximum of 16 staff to be Facilitators. The second option is definitely more effective in relation to developing a whole school approach to building resilience and protecting mental health as well as in relation to the financial cost.  [There are no hidden or future costs (other than refresher training if required). The pupil sessions are also experiential and not workbook based.] We hope to hear from you so we can bring Archie to you.