A community service provider in Surrey is to pilot the use of a new book written by a school nurse, with a view to potentially adopting it as a mental tool across the county.
School nurse Katrina Sealy has written a book for young school children, titled Angry, ANGRY Angus, which was published in August last year.
“To improve the country’s mental health we need to start with the next generation”
It is aimed at helping children aged four to seven to talk about their feelings and express their emotions to increase their chances of having good mental health through their adolescence.
The book and other academic work contributed to Ms Sealy being named Rising Star of the Year at the annual Nursing Times Awards in November 2017.
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Now Children and Family Health Surrey has funded the book and a teaching resource pack, which it is distributing to 92 primary schools in mid Surrey during this term.
If the pilot – covering Epsom, Leatherhead, Dorking and East Elmbridge – is successful, the provider said the book and resource pack would be rolled out to all primary schools in Surrey later this year.
The book, activities and lesson plan will help teachers and parents to give young children the words they need to talk about how they feel, said the organisation.
“This is a fantastic and very important project which supports emotional well-being and mental health for children”
For example, it noted that the book introduced children to the language they needed to discuss their feelings, using phrases like “I think”, “I feel”, “I know” and “I remember”.
It is focused on the character Angus who sometimes feels angry but does not know how to tell people how he feels without losing him temper.
His family and friends show him how to listen to those around him and to how to talk about what he is feeling. He also learns that he can even help his friends to feel less angry by listening and talking to them.
Children and Family Health Surrey has announced the pilot scheme ahead of next week’s Mental Health Awareness Week, which runs from 14 to 20 May.
Ms Sealy, a specialist practitioner school nurse working at Children and Family Health Surrey, said: “Mental Health Awareness Week reminds us that mental health and emotional wellbeing is such a big issue for today’s young people and adults.
“To improve the country’s mental health we need to start with the next generation – by helping young children to understand and effectively express their feelings and emotions and understand those around them,” she said.
Nurse writes book on helping children express emotions
“Angry ANGRY Angus is helping to give children the skills to live in good mental health as they grow up,” added Ms Sealy.
Stephen Cass, Children and Family Health Surrey board member, said: “I think this is a fantastic and very important project which supports emotional well-being and mental health for children in Surrey.”
Children and Family Health Surrey is the Surrey-wide NHS community health service for children and young people from birth up to 19 years of age and up to 25 for young adults with additional needs.
Its services include health visiting, school nursing and immunisation as well as specialist paediatric, nursing and therapy services to support children and young people who requiring ongoing care.
They are provided under one contract by three NHS and social enterprise service providers – CSH Surrey, First Community Health and Care, and Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Trust.
The book Angry, ANGRY Angus is also available for purchase via the online retailer Amazon.