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Growing Mighty Minds

17 May 2023
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What is Mighty Minds?

Mighty Minds is a new initiative created by Presbyterian Support’s Child & Family Psychologists, Gabby Begg, and Jillisa Wainwright. It is a six-week programme for children aged 12-14 in Christchurch who are referred to Presbyterian Support, or are currently on the waiting list for individual therapy services.

The sessions teach strategies for dealing with thoughts, emotions, and behaviours, and are a quick access resource to support children waiting for individual therapy.

Group sessions are held once a week, with limited numbers and age range, so that the sessions can be specially tailored to the group’s needs. The content has been developed using detailed research and specialist knowledge of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, ensuring it is evidence based.

Before the sessions begin, each child is introduced to the facilitators, so they know what to expect, and are familiar with their surroundings. The first three sessions are for teaching and activities, and include strategies such as thinking traps, how to recognise thoughts in the moment and coping thoughts which are unique to the individual. The final three sessions delve into the children’s personal feelings, where they also have chance to hear the struggles of the other children in the group.

Takeaways are provided with reminders of the strategies they have learnt, which can be used to help the children in real life scenarios outside of the group setting.

Mighty Minds Article Blog

A positive outcome

Blake* was struggling with building friendships and socialising, due to his mental health disorder, and was on the waitlist for individual therapy. He was invited to join the Mighty Minds programme whilst he waited for a place to become available. 

Blake suffered from severe anxiety when approaching and making friends, and when taking part in sports – this was making his life extremely challenging. However, thanks to the Mighty Minds programme and the various strategies he learnt, at the end of the six sessions, Blake’s confidence and self-esteem had flourished. 

Blake was surveyed at the start of the sessions, and again after the final session and showed a significant reduction in his initial symptoms, such as low mood.

Now, he has greater awareness of himself, his thoughts and how they can impact him. He is also comfortable taking part in sports again and making new friends.

The future

The sessions have received wonderful feedback, with one attendee saying, “I want to do this again and again. I wish it was 27 sessions!” 

The hope is that going forward we can continue to offer the programme and broaden the scope to cover children aged 15-17, and those living outside of Christchurch. 

For more information about Mighty Minds, contact Gabby or Jillisa on 0800 477 874.

Will you support our work?

By donating, you will allow us to continue offering our programmes, which help young people like Blake overcome their anxieties and other issues. Thank you!

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