LocalMatters       

Help for post-lockdown blues

Posted at 11:21am Monday 29 Jun, 2020

Heather Free

Seasons for Growth – a programme to assist those struggling with change and loss – kicks off again in Warkworth and Wellsford this month, following the end of lockdown restrictions.

Co-ordinator Heather Free says lockdown has been a surreal experience for many and discovering we must stay home until it is safer has been a huge shock.

“Our logical brains may have found their way around it, but for many of us our emotions and mental health have taken a hit,” she says.

Heather says it is to be expected that many of us will be experiencing increased levels of worry, anxiety and fear. These feelings may seem to be unrelated to Covid, but when one area of life is uncertain, other areas can seem more concerning and unsafe.

She adds children and teenagers face similar worries to adults, such as concerns about keeping their hands bug-free, concern for older loved ones with medical conditions and uncertainty about what the future will look like. However, she says younger people may not always have the words to express these feelings or the skills to help themselves at this time.    

She says now that school is back, many more children and teens are asking for support from counselling services.

“For some, it's been a pretty rugged time in lockdown, especially those in households with stress, money worries, and relationship difficulties,” she says.

Seasons for Growth groups are run by trained volunteers who have themselves experienced change or loss in their lives. In addition to groups for adults, there are some run for children in local primary schools, plus a group for students at Mahurangi College.

The small group sessions provide an opportunity to talk and listen and take part in therapeutic activities such as drawing, music, journaling, role play and storytelling.

Heather says participants can build their decision-making and problem-solving skills in the context of a safe and supportive environment.  

Info: Contact Heather Free, seasonswarkworthwellsford@gmail.com

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