A mental health nurse and a social worker have written a series of illustrated books to help children understand their mental health and wellbeing, which they say will be vital in preparing youngsters to return to school in September after living through lockdown.
The co-founders of Hull-based business Inspire Ignite, Sue Altass and Hannah Cheshire, are experts in children’s mental health, with more than 40 years of combined experience between them.
They have written a total of eight short stories, featuring fun characters Positive Parrot and Negative Newt, designed for primary age children.
Sue Altass, who spent 20 years working in the NHS developing mental health services, said: “The mental health and wellbeing of young people is high on the agenda of both parents and schools as we approach the start of a new school year after an unprecedented six months away from the classroom.
Inspire Ignite, which offers mental health and wellbeing training in schools and businesses, has been delighted by the feedback from children and parents who have already read the books and now feel more confident.
One such mum is Rachael Smith, founder of online parenting community Hull and East Riding Mumbler. Rachael, mum to a nine-year-old son and a six-year-old daughter, said: “Reading the books has been good for me as parent, who didn’t think we really had any problems, and good for the children in making them more aware of their feelings”
An audiobook of the stories is available, as well as soft toys of the characters, which can be used as a simple tactile dimension to the narrative, helping children to feel part of the story.
Books and toys can be purchased through the Inspire Ignite website, where there are also free resources to download.
Take a look at the website below to see more information on Inspire Ignite.