Let’s turn that frown upside down! We’re full of admiration for the team at Blue Smile, which offers one-on-one, arts-based therapy to enable children to manage their emotions and build resilience.
Hindsight is a beautiful thing, and foresight even more so – and that’s exactly what the charity Blue Smile is achieving with its ground-breaking school therapy programme, which highlights emotional problems and solves them before they become lifelong concerns.
Founded in 2010 by psychotherapists and educators, each year Blue Smile’s team supports more than 250 Cambridgeshire children aged 3–13 by providing free, one-on-one, arts-based therapy in school. Despite being small in stature, children experience huge emotions that can be overwhelming for them without the right support. Whether they are living through a family breakdown, illness, bereavement, or any of the overwhelmingly stressful situations children face today, by age 14 the seeds of many lifetime mental-health problems have manifested – with a ripple effect on wider society. Enter the pioneering Blue Smile team, whose kind, approachable and warm therapists intervene early to equip children with the skills to enjoy their life once again.
Blue Smile also helps teachers, heads of school, care-givers, and parents to recognise when and how they can help young children. When an estimated four children in every UK classroom have a diagnosable mental health problem, these regular “Blue Smile Days” can make it easier for children across the whole school to talk about their feelings. The results speak for themselves: 94% of parents say their child’s mental health improved with Blue Smile’s support.
The one-on-one, arts-based sessions encourage the children to express themselves in a safe, supportive, confidential way.Activities are fun, with the opportunity to create and play, and the bond of trust with the therapist allows the child to regulate their emotions, choose alternative behaviours, and build inner strength.
Imagine if every school offered such a programme: all children would be free to learn, explore, and fulfil their potential. Now that would put a smile on the world’s face.
Discover more about Blue Smile and its therapy programme here. The Blue Smile team is holding a series of webinars throughout March. To join in, please email: