Children Understanding Mental Health and Addiction

This is a programme for children who are living in the presence of mental illness and/or addictions. It will help them build resiliency and learn problem solving skills for those who are having difficulty dealing with change and loss in their lives.

The programme supports the development of skills and strategies to cope with the changes that occur in our lives and to learn to deal with feelings related to living with mental health or addiction challenges in the family/whānau. Often when change happens, losses occur. How we learn to deal with these losses is very important to our overall well being.   We offer:

  • A fun safe environment with plenty of activities
  • Qualified and skilled group facilitators
  • Pick up and drop off available
  • Afternoon tea provided
  • From 3.30 to 5.30 pm

Children will:

  • Add to pre-existing knowledge of mental illness and addiction
  • Know that they are not alone
  • Have opportunities to discuss feelings
  • Know that all feelings are okay and to teach strategies to help manage difficult emotions
  • Develop coping skills to deal with stressful events
  • Be able to share concerns
  • Explore myths about mental illness
  • Help build children’s resilience and ability to live well
  • Have access to on going support by a family / whānau support worker

The programme is aimed at primary school children  (7-11 year olds) and is designed to help children come to terms with a family/whānau member with mental health and/or addiction issues by sharing experiences and increasing understanding in a no blame environment. Parents and caregivers are invited to attend the last session, which is a celebration of the children’s time and learning in the program.

The program is run by trained facilitators. If anything is disclosed of a personal nature which is difficult or painful or concerns someone’s safety, they will listen, support and get the right help in place to resolve the situation.

The group is closed off after starting so that the group members can be open with one another without worrying about the fear of new people coming in on discussions.

For more information contact us on 06 377-3081 or email admin@sfwai.org.nz