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Helping and Talking to Your Child About the War in Ukraine

Helping Children and Young People to Make Sense of Distressing News

As a global community, we have faced a turbulent few years, ruled chiefly by the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions it brought. Now as we enter Spring 2022, the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine has taken over media attention and national concern. We live in a time of constant news streams and updates. It’s hard not to be filled with uncertainty and heartache every time you switch on the television or look at your phone. While we are all struggling to cope with the news, it is especially concerning for children and young people.

To help you guide those in your care through this uncertain time, our online safety experts have created this support for parents, carers, teachers, and safeguarding professionals. You’ll find a synopsis of important terms and questions, as well as our top tips for helping children and young people cope with distressing news.

What is the Russian invasion of Ukraine?

On February 24, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his military forces to begin an invasion of neighbouring country Ukraine. This is an escalation of the Russo-Ukrainian war that began in 2014 after a pro-Russian president of Ukraine was removed from office and Russian soldiers seized Crimea.

Since the invasion, there has been worldwide condemnation of Putin and his supporters. Protests have spread across the world (with protests in Russia resulting in arrest from police forces) as international support for Ukraine grows. Heavy sanctions (penalties to trade, sporting, and economic goods that are put in place by international leaders to try and pressure other leaders to a conduct agreement) have triggered a financial crisis in Russia, which has led Putin to put Russia’s nuclear forces on ‘high alert’ and has increased global fears of a nuclear war. Over 2 million Ukrainian citizens have fled their country. Thousands are suspected dead, with estimates expected to be higher. Many are trapped without access to necessities or medical aid. Recently, a maternity and children’s hospital was hit by a Russian airstrike resulting in multiple injuries and casualties.

Live reports are coming in every few minutes. Major news networks have constant news updates available for the public to see, despite difficulties in confirming news reports. However, the news is not the only avenue reports are appearing on. Social media is full of harrowing imagery and stories to encourage global support of Ukraine. While this is done to raise awareness of the atrocities happening in Ukraine, some of this content is extremely distressing. It’s worth nothing that if a child or young person engages with these posts on social media, the algorithms in place on these platforms will show them more.

How children react to distressing world events

While the recent news is upsetting and worrying for everyone, it is not the first disruptive event to affect the children and young people in your care. They have spent over two years adapting to a pandemic. They have endured lockdowns being isolated from their friends and family. They may even have lost loved ones during this time. Experts have warned that these events alone would have a significant impact on the mental wellbeing of children and young people going forward. If someone in your care is struggling, they might be:

  • Fixated, spending more time on phones or tablets to stay ‘up to date’.
  • Anxious, especially about future plans or dreams.
  • Irritable, over-reacting to minor inconveniences or issues.
  • Withdrawn, not engaging with their friends, school, or extracurriculars.
  • Distracted, with disruptions to regular eating, sleeping, or personal hygiene habits.
  • Obsessive, thinking over every circumstance and talking about possible outcomes.
  • Pessimistic, sharing a more negative or hopeless outlook on life.

If you are worried about a child or young person in your care, you can encourage them to speak to you or someone on their trusted team of adults. You can also point them to Childline’s support services.

Why is it important to talk to children and young people about what’s happening?

Children and young people are naturally curious. They want to know about what is going on in the world as much as they want to know the latest TikTok trend. Even if you try to limit the content they consume, they will inevitably hear about big world events from various outlets, such as television, social media, friends, family, and school environments. They might even overhear something from one of your conversations! If it’s what everyone is talking about, their interest in the topic increases.

This wide variety of sources makes it difficult to validate information and know what content the young person in your care is viewing. If you don’t acknowledge any questions or concerns they may have, they could ‘fill in the gaps’ with the wrong information. This might cause further anxiety, ignorance, or worrisome behaviour. Educating those in your care yourself is important to assure they know how to process news reports on their own with critical thinking and media literacy skills.

Some children may be curious, but not worried. Others may be uninterested in what is happening. Whether your child asks you about it or you bring it into conversation, remember to stay calm, listen to them, and reassure them that you are there if they need support or further guidance.

Top Tips for how to talk to children and young people about war

Every child is different. Their ability to process information will depend on their age, character, and resilience. As their guardian, you have to decide how much you share. You will know them best, but assessing their abilities can help you choose the level of information you share with them. For example, if you are a parent or carer of a young child who is prone to anxiety, start off with simple statements about the event while continually reassuring your child that they are safe and you are here for them. It’s important to:

  • Acknowledge their concerns. Don’t deny what is happening or negate their worries by telling them it will ‘all blow over soon’. Instead, tell them their concern is completely understandable and that you want to discuss it with them.
  • Be honest. While it is up to you as their guardian to protect them, it’s important that you refrain from lying in your responses or ignoring any questions or thoughts your child has. It’s okay if you don’t know the answer. This allows you to open up a discussion with your child. You could even suggest seeking the answer together!
  • Ask them how they are getting their news. Having a discussion around trustworthy news sources and how difficult it is to confirm things during times of conflict might be helpful. Holding yourself to this standard is important as well! Be mindful of any news playing in your house and how you are conducting your own conversations.
  • Validate their feelings. It is likely these emotions are complex and confusing for them to deal with. Remind them that, in this situation, feelings like this are normal.
  • Listen to them. No matter how worried or anxious you are, they will look to you for reassurance. Set your feelings aside and give the young person in your care the attention and space they need to feel heard.
  • Encourage them to limit their news intake. If they feel they are unable to look away from their phone or if they see something upsetting on their tablet, suggest they switch it off. If this isn’t realistic, advise them to only check news sources 1-2 times per day.
  • Discuss what you are grateful for as a family. This could be around the dinner table or during morning drives to school. If a young person in your care seems to struggle with guilt, remind them that they have nothing to feel guilty about – just things to be thankful for! Suggest researching places that are taking in donations to bring to refugees or other ways to help the crisis in a local capacity.
  • Use your words and actions to support them.Your reactions to their reactions are key to helping those in your care feel protected and loved. Tell your child you love them. Give them hugs or hold their hand. Allow them space when they need it, but remind them that you are here for them.

We know it can be difficult to decide what to share and how to respond. Remember – it’s important to remain calm, open, and honest with those in your care regardless of their age. Below, you’ll find some examples of questions you may receive about the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine. Our online safety experts have crafted some examples of appropriate answers to help you frame what you would like to say.

What is happening between Ukraine and Russia?

Why does Russia want to invade Ukraine?

Does this mean Russians are bad?

Why are people getting hurt?

Why do those people have to leave their homes?

Is World War 3 going to happen?

To help you navigate those difficult conversations, check out our toolkit on ‘Having Supportive Conversations’.

This article was copied from

Youth Unity Hugs

New Study: The More you Hug your Kids, the More Their Brains Develop

Hug:To borrow a phrase: love works in mysterious ways. We are born to love and, as it turns out, love and affection are necessary for both optimal positive emotional and physical development. And to be honest, nothing feels better than giving your loved one a warm embrace –or being on the receiving end.

Role of Oxytocin

Oxytocin is a hormone and neurotransmitter the hypothalamus produces and the pituitary gland secretes. Scientists first identified and observed it in 1906. (1) Oxytocin is essential in the process of childbirth in mammals, stimulating uterine contractions and lactation. Later studies found its role a much deeper and far-reaching one that affects social interaction and bonding between people. Scientists call it “the love hormone“.

As Psychology Today explains “…As a facilitator of bonding among those who share similar characteristics, the hormone fosters distinctions between in-group and out-group members, and sets in motion favoritism toward in-group members and prejudice against those in out-groups. Ongoing research on the hormone is a potent reminder of the complexity of biological and psychological systems.“ (2)Advertisement

This special hormone is present in both sexes, stimulating all aspects of the reproductive process, beginning with trust and sexual arousal. (34) Oxytocin stimulates pleasure and reward centers and is the neurological basis for social bonding, especially with the people closest to you.

The brain rewards us for living with others. (5) Oxytocin increases feelings of trust, which are intrinsic to all close personal relationships. (6)

Humans are Social Animals

Some animals are solitary but humans are not. Social inclusion and interaction are necessary for our survival. This becomes evident when we become socially isolated, starting with depression and often culminating in disease.Advertisement

The neurobiological mechanisms of love and attachment are a wonderful circle: we fall in love, have a baby, raise the child with love and affection, and the child continues the process.

The attraction and bonding between us are the physiological and emotional manifestations of our need to reproduce to perpetuate the species.

What’s more, oxytocin is essential for embryonic brain development (7). More specifically, it plays a role in blood vessel formation in the pituitary gland, which controls several physiological processes such as stress, growth, and reproduction (8).

With this as a foundation, we are more able to cope with stress and avoid destructive addictive behaviors. (9) This complex process begins with the bonding between parents and child.

The brain produces a high level of oxytocin to stimulate labor during pregnancy. After birth, oxytocin is even higher in infants than in mothers.

Additionally, in combination with prolactin (another hormone), oxytocin stimulates milk production for breastfeeding. The levels stay high for mother and baby for as long as the baby nurses.

The chemical reaction that follows is nothing short of amazing:

“Through three different release pathways, oxytocin functions rather like a system activator and often influences the release of other signaling substances such as opioids, serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline. Through these activations, different behavioural and physiological effects are facilitated and coordinated into adaptive patterns, which are influenced by the type of stimuli and environmental factors. ”Advertisement

“Oxytocin can be released by activation of several types of sensory nerves [including in the skin]…Light pressure, warmth and stroking contribute to oxytocin release caused by ‘pleasant’ or ‘non-noxious’ sensory stimulation of the skin.” (10)

Opioidsserotonin, and dopamine are all pleasure hormones.

It is interesting to note that newborns instinctively use their hands in addition to their mouths to stimulate milk flow. This type of skin stimulation promotes the production of oxytocin in the mother for milk release. (11)

Instinctual Parent-Child Bond

A fascinating study of oxytocin in parents with infants found that levels increased where there was a positive interaction with their babies. In addition, increased oxytocin was found in parents who enjoyed positive close relationships with their partners and their own parents, indicating that we pass on the love hormone through positive social interaction.

Interestingly, reduced oxytocin levels in the urine of mothers stressed by parenting and negative interaction with their infants were noted. (12)

Oxytocin Can’t be Replaced

The long-term emotional and societal effects of oxytocin are tangible.

Oxytocin release during sexual activity, pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, and onward directly correlates to the ability to trust and form meaningful relationships. Once a baby is weaned from her∕his mother, the brain produces oxytocin as the result of affectionate touch. Healthy personal interactions also stimulate hormone release. Hugging your child is the most natural instinct a parent has because it feels good for the both of you.

As we’ve seen, physical affection in childhood is instinctive and feels good because it fosters a solid emotional (and physical!) foundation and the ability to develop trust and strong bonds with others.

So while all of love’s mysteries will never truly be understood, we know that it’s part of who we are as a species and is necessary for our survival. Spread those hugs around—everyone needs ʹem.

SOURCE: https://dailyhealthpost.com/hug-baby-brain-development/2/

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Supervision and effective social work practice

Professional supervision is central to effective social work. I think we can all agree on that. It plays an important role in the wider functioning of any children’s social care organisation. It is good to see the government setting out the role of practice supervisors in its knowledge and skills statements: not much to argue with there.

Children’s social work can be highly pressured and, at times, extremely stressful. So, whether you’re a frontline social worker, team manager or working with children in another social care setting, effective supervision helps you to do your job well.

Supervision involves talking through the impact the work has on you personally, as well as exploring decision-making. It is vital for practitioners’ well-being, professional development, and management oversight. Most importantly, supervision helps you to achieve the best possible outcomes for children.

What does good ‘reflective’ supervision look like?

For Ofsted, supervision is an important part of the conversations that inspectors have with frontline workers. Has it benefited an approach to a particular case? Has it helped professional development? Inspectors will always look for evidence of the quality and impact of any supervision.

As ever, there is no particular model that works best. In the areas that do supervision well, we see many components coming together to make sure that it works.

In these places, supervision takes place in an environment and relationship that feel safe, both to the supervisor and the supervisee. It is emotionally supportive, but challenges practitioners to truly reflect on their practice and on the needs of the children and families they are supporting.

Effective supervision relationships allow practitioners to develop personally and professionally through trust, honesty and empathy. When done well, supervision contributes to how staff performance is managed, and includes practice development and teaching and coaching.

Individual supervision can also be enhanced by (but not substituted for) group support and challenge. The right balance has to be struck between recording group and individual supervision.

How supervision ‘feels’ is important

Having been both supervisor and supervisee, I know that how supervision ‘feels’ is important! The following questions are a good guide:

  • Does the way I am supervised contribute to my job satisfaction and make me want to continue to work for this organisation?
  • Does it make me feel that my employer cares about me and my practice?
  • Does it increase my confidence, competence and critical thinking? Does it make me a more effective advocate for children?
  • Does it help me make better decisions for children? Am I able to change my direction of thinking when that is the right thing to do?

If the answer to these questions is yes, supervision is probably both effective and satisfying to supervisor and supervisee alike. Even more than that, it is likely to have a direct, positive impact on children and families.

Statutory children and family social work is all about managing risks and making good-quality decisions. To do this successfully, information about risks and how they are being managed needs to be shared between social workers and their managers at all levels.

In places that do it well, supervision happens in a dedicated space and time. This is helpful for practitioners because they know when to expect it and can rely on it. It forms a regular outlet to reflect on what has gone well and what has gone less well, and to learn from both.

Do inspectors expect every child’s experiences to be explored at every supervision session? No. Supervision should always be proportionate to risk: prioritising worker’s greatest worries, but over a number of sessions, making space for all children’s experiences to be discussed.

Supervision and case records

Sector colleagues often ask me what Ofsted is looking for on a good supervision record and on a child’s case record. There is, of course, some overlap between the two, and I do not want to suggest a prescriptive approach.

For some practitioners, supervision records will include getting the basics right or compliance with practice standards. For all, it should be an ambitious expectation for the best possible interventions and a place for professional dialogue and debate.

Well-recorded practitioner files will evidence how that person’s professional development has evolved through training, skills development and knowledge, and how they have applied this in their practice with children and families. It will explore responses to stress, personal ‘baggage’ and how these impact on the person’s ability to do their job.

When it comes to a child’s record, this has to serve many audiences – not least a manager’s scrutiny and a future social worker’s ability to pick up that child’s case. Will they understand how decisions were arrived at and the rationale for particular interventions? The decision-making resulting from supervision is clearly relevant here.

Critically, that same record will be used in future years, when the child, now an adult, seeks to understand their childhood and how they came to be brought up as and where they were.

Finally, let’s never lose sight of the context of children’s social work. Children and families have a right to receive help and care from properly qualified and experienced practitioners who are continually developing their practice. Effective supervision is a cornerstone of this development, while the way it is recorded is a means of evidencing that professionalism

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Mind Over Matter – Domestic Abuse

Mind Over Matter

Source: Kerry Mussington

Has your past belief kept you in unhealthy circumstances?

A school photo but nobody saw this little girl abuse, they never saw her being taken advantage of (groomed by the family friends)

They never told her she was living in domestic abuse, as a little girl parents so wrapped up in drink drugs and own issues she was abused right under their noses, she went on to gain a diagnosis in her late 20’s then she was manipulated and her mental health was used as an excuse against her, to mask the heinous crimes.

47 years of abuse throughout her life, even the system failed her and never protected or offered support without victim blaming, just given her a label borderline personality disorder but writing down a paperwork abuse her abuse. 

So why did she not get help in the correct departments no just chucked tablet and told to get in with it that label is (a reward for abuse, now she has this label for life hell.

people picked on her year after year until she learned to say no to abuse, only because someone told her it was wrong to be treated like that and stuck by her to expose NEGLECT for what it was from child abuse to domestic to even those so-called Friends bullying and humiliating her

Rejection and abandonment

Online cyber bullying to add in the most horrific way resulting to her getting police involvement to cease the unwanted behaviour from those who saw her as a threat,  when she stood against abuse she was targeted online and a photograph placed on a group so she would be target more

This stopped when she took action against this form of abuse it stopped. But year after year she suffered Degrading treatment Until one day someone else saw what she went through and helped her to fight back against abuse that caused her mental health to crumble.

Making those abusers pay for what they did she took them to a higher authority and won cases that had written context such as (she throws a tantrum and always complains.  They protect the abusers; it was not a tantrum it was A CRY FOR HELP she was drained and had nothing left to live for so you can imagine she tried once again to take her life never knowing how to tell the story so it would be understood without persecution.

She never got to tell on her child abuser as he died, this is when she felt free.

An opportunity came up to create a business and she thought this is the way to express to tell the whole world what she’s been through so they too could prevent their own children from going through what she went through she wanted to empower other women who went through sexual abuse and domestic violence and also suffered with mental health complications due to stress, so she built the MOM Project Suicide Prevention as a way to raise awareness on those subjects to help others prevent and to forgive themselves a abuser is the only one who tries to have power and control and grooms you into submission he or she are responsible for their actions. NOBODY FORCED THEM TO ACT THIS WAY.  

They were raised in a belief system.  Reinforced by society and the belief such as MEN own women and women should do as they are told.  “

We are not a slave; we are a human who has rights and the right to say no to abuse. And the right to say no to sex

Kerry Mussington helps many people understand the patterns and raises awareness on mental health and now Is a trained Facilitator in Domestic Abuse, she took everything she could to empower herself and other. her mission is to save life and prevent others from the dreaded depression that’s mask so much abuse…. That even if they can identify they are being abused or neglected.

It has come to my attention through research that many people who suffered abuse end up with labels such as borderline personality disorders ADHD bipolar and many other disorders such as PTSD Trauma affects children and adults ripping life from them stealing childhood stealing adulthood because you are treated like a child told to do things you don’t want to made to put up with harmful behaviour and if you don’t there is consequence now this part is scary because you stop TRUSTING people and even Yourself…. Isolating yourself from others. You develop Low self-esteem lack of confidence and even injury to one’s self using possibly drugs and alcohol to manage daily life.

 

Trust and good communication play a big part of life but when you are being controlled, you’re just existing like a puppet on a string.

Mental health can get better with knowledge and understanding and the right support from someone who understands this cycle.

Domestic abuse can cease if you are educated in understanding the patterns of behaviour spot the abuse even down to Cheating and belittling power and control is what the abusers want and let me tell you this it’s not Because of drink drugs mental health depression unemployment why they do what they do to their victims it’s simply

POWER AND CONTROL

To the victims out there it is not your fault your children need to know that this behaviour is wrong.  Nobody has the right to sexually abuse you or help themselves and nobody has the right to put their hands on you.

A bully will sulk to hide or deflect from his or her actions

They will call names, lie and degrade you for own gain

Many mothers blame themselves when children are caught up in the middle but are also conditioned many are blame victim blaming has become a huge issue because people don’t want to listen to our painful struggles it just too hard for them to believe

Gaslighting for one’s own gain

Say NO to domestic abuse and please get some support the freedom program will help you in this area and has a program (living with the dominator) it will help women and children understand better of this cycle.  bad fathers to good role models

I understand abuse happens to men also and you may want to get some support there are programmes that can help you to understand.

  • Change that belief because it’s damaging.
  • Speaking out saves lives support saves more
  • Understanding is key

You friends most probably can relate to this post and may never of gotten help or support and end up in controlling relationships

Offering you knowledge that there is a program that they can book themselves in today it’s called the freedom program.

Let’s start raises our standards not our hands

 

 

Mr Wrong to Mr Right check it. https://www.freedomprogramme.co.uk/online.php

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#BeNiceToYourNoggin

The coronavirus pandemic has been incredibly tough for us all, and it has had a huge impact on our mental health. From lockdown, to furlough, to the loss of loved ones, we’ve all found ourselves under pressure or anxious at times.

The pandemic has affected us all in different ways, and it is only normal to feel uncertain about what the future holds.

The stress of this uncertainty and the new challenges we have had to face has had an impact on the mental health of many.

With limited contact with our friends, family, community and colleagues, taking care of our mental health and wellbeing has never been more important.

Support is available to help cope with the thoughts, feelings and issues that we are all facing.

#BeNicetoYourNoggin aims to spread awareness of the support is available in our community and how to access it, including a wide range of bereavement and crisis support services available in Havering.

The ‘noggins’ are here to help us express some of the mental health issues we all face, which can often feel dark and unmanageable. They are here to make these issues easier to understand, and to let you know that you are not alone in tackling them.

Visit their site for more information:

https://www.havering.gov.uk/benicetoyournoggin

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April is World Autism Month

Every April Autism Speaks celebrates World Autism Month, beginning with United Nations-sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day on April 2. Throughout the month, we focus on sharing stories and providing opportunities to increase understanding and acceptance of people with autism, fostering worldwide support.

What is World Autism Month?

Every April Autism Speaks celebrates World Autism Month, beginning with United Nations-sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day on April 2. Throughout the month, we focus on sharing stories and providing opportunities to increase understanding and acceptance of people with autism, fostering worldwide support. This year, we are committed to keeping the spirit of the month alive, as now more than ever we know the autism community needs support, kindness and compassion. In April 2021 we’re inviting the community to #LightUpWithKindness.

How can I participate?

There is power in kindness and one small act can have a ripple effect to foster kindness in our communities. We believe that that kindness can help create a world where all people can reach their full potential.

Supporters can participate in the initiative by visiting autismspeaks.org/wam where they can:

Other ways to participate include wearing blue on April 2, lighting buildings blue and exploring stories and photos shared by the diverse autism community. 

What is Light It Up Blue?

The Light It Up Blue initiative was created by Autism Speaks in 2010. Since that time, joined by the international autism community, hundreds of thousands of landmarks, buildings, homes and communities around the world light blue on World Autism Awareness Day (April 2) in recognition of people with autism.

With the recent Autism Speaks logo change from blue to the spectrum of colors, can I still “Light It Up Blue?”

Yes!  Autism Speaks is still rooted in our legacy blue.

Where can I get items to show my support of Autism Speaks?

Please visit the Autism Speaks eStore to purchase t-shirts, bracelets, pins, yard signs and other promotional products to spread kindness. Printed materials such as posters, flyers and brochures can be downloaded for free from the resources page.

How can I light my home blue?

You can purchase Phillips Autism Speaks blue light bulbs at Home Depot stores or visit www.homedepot.com and search “Autism Speaks Lights.”

I want to light my commercial building or public structure blue. What resources are available?

Visit www.rosco.com/LIUB for information on commercial lighting options.

How can I share my WAM photos online?

Download our Selfie Frame to use and show your support for people with autism. Then share photos by posting them with the hashtag #LightItUpBlue and #kindnesscounts to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Instagram.

Can I use the Autism Speaks World Autism Month marks for my event/fundraiser?

Yes. Logos may be downloaded from the resources page and used for informational or educational purposes during World Autism Month. All uses of the Autism Speaks World Autism Month logo must comply with the following Terms of Use:

  • The logo must remain intact. You may not change or add anything to it.
  • You may not place the logo on any product or use for selling purposes.
  • In the US, any fundraising activity utilizing the World Autism Month marks (or any Autism Speaks marks) must have the authorization of Autism Speaks. Contact marketing@autismspeaks.org and an Autism Speaks representative will contact you directly to review guidelines.

Where can I get the World Autism Month logo?

  • Permitted logos are available on the resources page. Please abide by the Terms of Use above.

Source: https://www.autismspeaks.org/

Youth Unity Stress Awareness

April is Stress Awareness Month

Youth Unity have put together some useful links to help signpost people to understanding and coping with stress!!

Sometime we need to remember to take time out and refocus and relax!

Learn About Stress Awareness Month

According to the Mental Health Foundation, it seems that 74% of UK adults have had a moment where they’ve felt so stressed that they’ve been too overwhelmed or unable to cope with the situation. Stress is a widespread feeling for most of us to feel, and as such, millions of individuals around the world can struggle with it. Stress can have an impact on our health, both physically and mentally. These health issues could be anxiety and depression to heart disease. Learning the coping mechanisms and just being more aware of stress can certainly help an individual who is feeling overwhelmed by this emotion.

History Of Stress Awareness Month

This month is held every April and has been running for 28 years since 1992, to be exact. The original organization dedicated to helping with workplace stress was founded back in 1974 and rebranded to the International Stress Management Association in 1989. There have been many investigations and studies into the cause of stress and how we react to it. It wasn’t until the 1950s that personality types were defined. Even earlier, back in 1936, Hans Selye began his pioneering studies into stress and developed the concept of general adaption syndrome.

How To Celebrate Stress Awareness Month

There are plenty of resources and helpful organizations available to help with your own struggles regarding stress. One way of doing something for stress awareness month is the 30-day challenge. The 30-day challenge encourages you to do one action for your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing every day. This can be really helpful in changing your mindset and outlook on stress, as well as finding ways to help cope with your own stresses. You may learn a lot about yourself and the triggers that come with stress too. 

As well as doing the challenge above, there is definitely more you can do, not only for yourself but also for other people. Talking about stress can be really helpful, and it might be worth reaching out to those you trust or to seek professional help where necessary. Please encourage others to talk about their feelings, too, and always try to be there for those individuals who may appear to be overwhelmed. We all cope with stress differently, so sharing your experiences of coping might also help someone else.

The most important thing with this month is that you’re focusing on your health and wellbeing. Put yourself first for a change and focus on bringing those stress levels down in whatever way possible.

Source: https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/stress-awareness-month/

Stress Management Society

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Sarah Everard: New safety measures after killing

Source: BBC

New safety measures after killing “Immediate steps” aimed at improving safety for women and girls in England and Wales have been announced by No 10 after Sarah Everard’s death.

Among them is an additional £25m for better lighting and CCTV as well as a pilot scheme which would see plain-clothes officers in pubs and clubs.

Campaigners say the money is not enough and called for institutional changes.

Labour said meaningful changes to law are needed rather than plans involving “police officers in skinny jeans”.

It comes after hundreds of people protested in central London on Monday.

Ms Everard went missing while walking home from a friend’s house on 3 March.

Her body was later found in woodland in Kent and Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens, 48, has been charged with the 33-year-old marketing executive’s kidnap and murder.

Following a meeting of the government’s Crime and Justice Taskforce on Monday evening, Downing Street said it would take “immediate steps” to give “further reassurance” to women and girls in the wake of the killing of Ms Everard.

No 10 said it would double the size of the Safer Streets fund – which provides local measures such as better lighting and CCTV – to £45m.

Undercover police will be sent to clubs, bars and popular nightspots to relay intelligence about predatory or suspicious offenders to uniformed officers, in pilots of so-called Project Vigilant, rolled out across the country.

Safeguarding minister Victoria Atkins said undercover officers working in the night-time economy would feed intelligence to uniformed officers.

She said the government would work with businesses and police to ensure, as the industry reopened following the coronavirus lockdown, “that women can feel safe in our streets”.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson – who chaired the meeting – said the government was bringing in “landmark legislation” to toughen up sentences and put more police on streets.

He said: “Ultimately, we must drive out violence against women and girls and make every part of the criminal justice system work to better protect and defend them.”

‘Caught on the hop’

But Labour’s shadow domestic violence minister Jess Phillips told BBC Breakfast that in her years of experience, she had not come across experts or victims calling for more CCTV in public spaces.

She accused ministers of being “caught on the hop” and rolling out plans involving “police officers in skinny jeans” rather than meaningful changes to legislation regarding street harassment, or a detailed review of how rape is prosecuted in England and Wales.

The shadow home secretary, Labour’s Nick Thomas-Symonds, said the measures were “nowhere near good enough” and called for “urgent action” on issues like harassment of women, domestic homicide sentencing and more support for victims of rape.

Labour MP Stella Creasy told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme more funding for better street lighting was not unwelcome, but “it really just doesn’t understand what the issues are”. She said measures focused on policing nightspots do not recognise “that women get abused, assaulted and intimidated in all sorts of places”.

Dr Ellie Cosgrave, a lecturer in urban innovation and policy at University College London, said it was right that the government consider lighting as a way to help make cities safer, but added: “You can’t just shove a light in and hope that the public space will be better.”

She told BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour that “over-lighting” some areas in a city can make other areas feel less safe.

Dr Cosgrave said the best action ministers can take to make cities safer is to understand the “social dynamics” of an area by conducting surveys, speaking to people, and implementing change based on what they say.

‘Structural changes’

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told BBC Breakfast it was good news that more women were feeling more confident to report rape allegations, but he added “we still haven’t done well enough to get the evidence that can secure convictions”.

A spokeswoman for organisation Reclaim These Streets said it welcomed additional funding but did not believe funding alone would create the structural changes which were “so important”.

“Women won’t be able to trust that they are safe until misogyny and racism are tackled at an institutional level within government, police and the criminal justice system,” she said.https://emp.bbc.co.uk/emp/SMPj/2.39.19/iframe.htmlmedia captionDania Al-Obeid: “All I wanted was to stand with other women”

Home Secretary Priti Patel had warned against holding vigils, and has launched a review into the policing of a gathering over the weekend in south London in memory of Ms Everard.

During that event, officers handcuffed and removed several women after crowds gathered on Clapham Common to lay flowers and pay their respects.

On Monday, hundreds marched across central London in what was said to be a meeting by Sisters Uncut, which describes itself as an “intersectional feminist direct-action collective”, with many of those in attendance carrying placards.

Four people were arrested – three on suspicion of breaching coronavirus regulations and a fourth on suspicion of assaulting an emergency worker. A further two people were issued with fixed penalty notices, the Metropolitan Police said.

Protests will be able to legally resume on 29 March, when the coronavirus “stay at home” order lifts in England.

The prime minister’s spokesman said demonstrations will continue to be subject to Covid-secure precautions such as appropriate measures to maintain social distancing.

Meanwhile, MPs will continue debating the Police, Crime Sentencing and Courts Bill later, which would change how protests are managed, including allowing police to impose conditions such as start and finish times.

Labour has criticised the bill saying it did “nothing to help women feel safer”, and imposed “disproportionate” controls on freedom of speech.

Ms Patel said the bill would end the halfway release of those convicted of sexual offences such as rape and also said the Domestic Abuse bill was on track to receive royal assent by the end of April, which she said would “transform our collective response to this abhorrent crime”.

FREEE

FREEE Is a women’s empowerment group run by Teri George through www.3dom.social where she gives insightful help and advice to help empower women who have been through abuse. Please join her

Indeed, disclosing sexual abuse can be a very stressful process for a child, and the reactions of the child’s primary caregiver can play a key role in the child’s adjustment.

So when a mother hears her son or daughter tell of being sexually abused, particularly by a known and trusted person, it often catapults her into crisis…

Just as disclosure is a process for a child, mothers also may need time to digest the disclosure and respond in a way that does not doubt or otherwise fail to meet the child’s emotional needs…

When your child is hurting from being sexually abused and everything won’t be OK, that’s got to be the hardest part about parenting. Sometimes no matter how you try to protect your children, they will eventually get hurt and naturally we as parents will hurt in the process…

REMEMBERER YOU ARE NOT ALONE…

As a continuation of a series on overcoming Shame

In this podcast I’m joined with Zoe Pennent aka The Sage, who shares her experience – from a parents perspective.

CLICK HERE FOR PODCAST

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P.L.A.N.N Wholesome ​Empowerment ​Group

Youth Unity is happy to announce P.LA.N.N are coming back again this year to host an area with her visions boards and workshops. More information on the workshops will be added in due course, but in the mean time check this lady out!!

http://www.plannweg.org.uk/

Supporting YOUR journey towards a better version of yourself…..

​​Through building on 
Self Confidence,
Self Esteem,
Self Worth and
​Self Image

We do this through making your connections to build on SELF LOVE 
What does SELF LOVE mean to you? 

By definition….Self-love is the holistic regard for your health, wellness and happiness..

The journey to self love is not linear, it has it’s PEAKS and TROUGHS, it’s a journey that has a bending road and we can note these experiences in such stages: self hate – self dislike – self awareness – self neutrality – self acceptance – self like – self love.

To us, self love is grown through the ability to love your OVERALL SELF AND BEING. So how do we get there? This begins with the way you view and value yourself, your life and your position in the world.

According to Professor Steve Peters, author of The Chimp Paradox: Mind Management for Confidence, Success and Happiness, it is explained that the being is made up of FOUR different but INTERCONNECTED entities; self WORTH, self ESTEEM, self CONFIDENCE and self IMAGE.

​We will help you to EXPLORE the benefits and practicalities of how to develop in these areas of YOUR LIFE raising your self-love awareness.