The Spark Blog

  • Understanding anger for parents

    Understanding anger for parents

    Along with happiness and sadness, anger is perhaps one of the most common emotions we experience in everyday life. We all experience anger in different ways but it can often become an easy ‘go-to’ emotion for children and adolescents. By understanding anger and, in particular, what lies beneath it, parents can better support children and…


  • What makes you happy?

    What makes you happy?

    If you search “what makes you happy” Google will offer you roughly 2.5bn results to consider. A similar search on Amazon will offer up over 100,000 books and DVDs on the subject of being happy.  On the basis of these two statistics alone, we can say with a degree of confidence that a lot of…


  • Tackling loneliness at university

    Tackling loneliness at university

    One of the mental health challenges facing young people is the issue of loneliness at university. With the freedom and independence that university brings – and young people relish – also comes the risk of isolation. Feeling lonely at university is very common. According to a 2018 survey, nearly half (46%) of UK students interviewed…


  • Mental health: preparing your child for university

    Mental health: preparing your child for university

    The mental health of students at university has been making headlines for some time now and is a growing issue. Therefore, if you are a parent preparing your child for university, it is vital to consider how you can help them get ready for problems like isolation, loneliness, stress and financial worries. In this short…


  • How to teach kids good mental health at home

    How to teach kids good mental health at home

    During Children’s Mental Health Week, it might be worth thinking about The World Health Organisation’s figures that “around 1 in 5 of the world’s children and adolescents have a mental disorder” and that “about half of mental disorders begin before the age of 14”. In context, government data suggests 10% of children and young people…


  • Helping children with emetophobia

    Helping children with emetophobia

    Emetophobia is the fear of vomiting. We all have some degree of fear about vomiting or being in close proximity to someone who is. It isn’t the most pleasant experience for anyone after all! However, there are individuals panic-stricken by even the thought of vomiting. In fact, this phobia is particularly common in children. On…


  • How to make a comfort box for an anxious child

    How to make a comfort box for an anxious child

    Anxiety is a very unpleasant experience for your child and for you as their parent. Finding tools and techniques to help them combat anxiety is something every parent seeks to do. In this short article Children and Young People counsellor, Linda Smith looks at an effective method known as a comfort box. Helping an anxious…


  • High school leavers and workplace relationships

    High school leavers and workplace relationships

    Starting work straight out of school is an exciting but nerve-wracking next step for many young people. On the one hand, earning your first pay packet and escaping school is a big attraction. On the other hand, it can be hard to imagine how you will fit in and build workplace relationships with people often…


  • University guide: feeling isolated

    University guide: feeling isolated

    Moving to a new area and starting at university is a hugely exciting step for young people. Finding a new social circle, sharing halls or living with new flatmates creates wonderful opportunities to enjoy new experiences and make lasting friendships. Many students relish it but it can be a lot to process and for some…


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