Innovating Minds teams with childhood trauma expert to help children impacted by domestic violence during lockdown

Clinical psychologist Dr Asha Patel (left) of the multi award-winning social enterprise Innovating Minds is running a series of webinars on essential mental health topics and is partnering with author Jane Evans to create The Healing Together Facilitator Programme.

The course is aimed at those who work with children at both primary and secondary schools or in other community settings. It will help individuals become trauma aware and give them the skills and understanding to help children who have been impacted by domestic abuse and violence.

The United Nations has called domestic abuse the ‘shadow pandemic’ as it estimates incidents globally have increased by at least 20 per cent.

Researchers at the Counting Dead Women Project have told UK MPs that 14 women and two children were killed in the first three weeks of lockdown – the largest number of killings in a three-week period for 11 years and more than double the average rate.

The NSPCC has confirmed a shocking increase in calls to their service, ‘Contacts to our helpline about the impact of domestic abuse on children have increased by 32% since the start of the lockdown, to an average of one an hour’.

Jane Evans (right), who is based in Wiltshire, is known internationally for her work with parents and children. She’s also the author of a number of books to which help adults explore discuss difficult issues with children including one on domestic abuse called How Are You Feeling Today Baby Bear?

Innovating Minds, based in Birmingham, is a not for profit which has consistently provided support and funding for children who have witnessed domestic abuse. Asha Patel believes that there will be a tsunami of referrals to statutory mental health services once lockdown finishes and waiting lists will spiral out of control.

The course will upskill schools, social workers, early help workers and community organisations to deliver support to children impacted by domestic abuse.

‘Early intervention is crucial to a child’s emotional wellbeing and education.’ said Asha. ”This course will enable children to access therapeutic help from people they trust, in a space where they feel safe. This is a unique programme as every aspect (videos, worksheets, training) has been developed through a trauma informed lens. Experience has shown us at Innovating Minds that this is the best strategy, as children need to connect with their bodies and feelings to aid their journey to recovery.’

More details about the Healing Together programme can be found here:

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