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Every Voice Matters: Using Creativity for Children's Mental Health Support

At the Centre for Creative Practice, supporting practitioners to hear children and young people’s voices is at the heart of what we do. 

Our Founding Directors Mary Rose Brady and Dr Patricia Watts highlight the role that creativity can play in helping every child and young person to have a voice.

For children and young people who may struggle with verbal communication, creative outlets such as art, music, or dance provide alternative ways to express  emotions, thoughts and experiences. 

Giving children and young people a creative outlet helps them to externalize and make sense of  their feelings.

By representing their emotions through art, children and young people can explore different aspects of themselves and their environment, helping them better understand their emotions and giving them a sense of control.

Creative activities, such as drawing or mindfulness exercises, can also help children and young people to relax and focus on inner thoughts and can offer strategies for self-regulation that can be used in a number of different settings.

Engaging in creative activities gives children and young people a sense of achievement that can positively impact their self-esteem, and showcasing their creativity also helps children and young people to build confidence. 

Being creative in a group setting can also facilitate social connection with peers and can promote a sense of belonging and shared experience.

Creativity is an effective  tool in  helping  adults to engage with children and young people and can aid important conversations about their emotional well-being and mental health.  This is all the more important for quieter voices, and for the children and young people who experience barriers to communicating verbally.

Incorporating creativity into therapeutic conversations with children and young people facilitates self-reflection, and can include activities such as journaling, personal artwork or storytelling.  

By integrating creativity with mental health awareness, children and young people’s practitioners can contribute to the overall well-being of the children and young people they support and help them to voice any issues that inhibit their well-being.

At the Centre for Creative Therapeutic Practice, we upskill the children and young people’s workforce, to recognise signs of mental health difficulties and apply creative therapeutic approaches to their practice to support children and young people effectively and timely, and in the here and now.

We are committed to supporting practitioners in their work with children and young people to facilitate therapeutic conversations through creativity and to ensure that the voices of all children and young people are heard and to promote the message that their voice matters.

For further information on how we support children and young people’s practitioners, follow the link to our services.

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