I began training as a counsellor over 15 years ago and went on to work as a psychotherapist and coach.
I developed an innovative way of working which connects the very best counselling skills with the most effective coaching tools. I called it Fusion Therapeutic Life Coaching.
Fusion is a tried and tested system which gets proven results in only six sessions, and I now want to make it freely available to our struggling schools. I think crowd funding can really help get it out there.
The Fusion Foundation mission statement
'To promote happiness and resilience in children and young people by teaching them proven and effective mind management skills through Therapeutic Coaching so they can feel their best, be their best and live their best lives.
Young people in crisis
We are trying to raise £2500 to provide a free therapeutic coaching service to a local school. More and more children and young people are in emotional crisis. Therapeutic coaching can really help.
Our modern lifestyle is imposing huge stressors on our children as never before; peer pressure, academic pressure, pressure within families and cultural pressures. Research shows children and young people in the UK are becoming increasingly unhappy. There is an explosion of suicide attempts, amongst teenage girls in particular. Emergency admissions to child psychiatric wards have doubled in four years and the number of young people hospitalised for self harm is up 70% in just one decade.
Something is happening
Through social media, our children are now exposed to an adult world which they are simply not equipped to deal with emotionally.
Yet, paradoxically, while communication becomes ever more instant, the structure of traditional families is breaking down, and children can find themselves more and more isolated. Our schools are finding it difficult to cope with increasing levels of emotional distress, depression and anxiety in the classroom.
When Norman Lamb was care minister, he called our mental health system ‘broken.’ The following quotations have been taken from Lord Layard's 2015 report on mental health and well-being in children:
'There is a massive problem
Around 10% of the world’s children today are suffering from a diagnosable mental health problem...
A central aim of any society should be that its children and young people enjoy their lives and acquire the skills necessary to become happy functioning adults...
Mental health affects physical health. Depression reduces life expectancy as much as smoking does. It has a more disabling effect and arthritis, diabetes, angina or asthma...
A fundamental principle is that it is better to intervene earlier… But the principle of early intervention also applies to prevention...
The brain's plasticity is highest in young children… They are most vulnerable to bad influences and most receptive to good ones...
If children are happier, that is also good for their intellectual development. For example in a survey of 200 school based programs to promote the social and emotional skills, it was found that children taking these programs gained around 10 percentile points in emotional well-being and behaviour but also in academic achievement…
So schools should make the well-being of their children a major objective.'
There have been promises of increased funding in the future to support the mental health of young people in schools but, the reality is, the crisis is happening now. And, while we wait for extra funding, children are losing hope…… and some are losing their lives.
I believe children have a right to be happy
The ‘right to happiness’ was even written into the American Declaration of Independence. But many people do not realise there is a 'recipe' for happiness based on sound psychological research and, when you get the 'ingredients' right, you have a life which feels rewarding and meaningful.
I believe our children have a right to resilience
Ever wondered how some people seem to be more resilient than others? They just 'bounce back', no matter what life throws at them. We can't choose many of life's events but we do have a choice about how we respond. We can teach our children the essential skills of resilience; how to feel stronger and be more emotionally intelligent so they can face the world armed with good mind management skills which will set them up for life.
The need is great and the need is urgent
Schools and children need help right now.I am in a position to offer really effective help …with your help. There are trained coaches waiting to go into schools and work with struggling youngsters. I know of many schools, who would like to access the new tried and tested therapeutic coaching system, but the financial resources simply aren’t there, as more and more cuts are made to their working budgets.
You can help too
This year, I personally sponsored one coach to go in to a local school. She is getting great results and really helping young people. I would like another coach to start work as soon as possible to begin to help more youngsters straight away. Something very new has happened in mental health. Let’s get it into schools where it’s really needed. Let’s make this happen.
How the money will be spent
£2,500 will pay 1 therapeutic coach to work for 1 school morning or afternoon a week for 1 school year. During that time, they will be able to help at least 14 children and young people in 1-2-1 coaching, and even more if they work in groups. And, because no one lives in isolation, that help will have a ‘ripple effect’, not just on their wellbeing, but on their academic work, their family and relationships.
In addition, young people are hard-wired to be influenced by their peers. If one finds something that really helps, they are likely to share that with others and, because there is no stigma attached to coaching as opposed to counselling, children are more likely to access the service.
I am a BACP accredited psychotherapist, coach and trainer.
My professional journey began over 25 years ago when I was struck down by postnatal depression. It seemed to come from nowhere and knocked me sideways. I very quickly went from being a capable young woman to someone who could barely get out of bed in the morning. My GP's response was to give me antidepressants. They made things worse not better. At rock bottom, I asked myself a question that would change the course of my life; ‘How did this happen?’. Since my recovery, I have searched for the best ways to offer help and support to those in crisis, the kind of help and support I had needed myself.
Moreover, I have sought to understand and pass on psychologically proven skills and tools of happiness, well-being and resilience to as many as possible.
On the way, I:
Trained as a counsellor, then a psychotherapist and a coach.
Connected coaching and counselling into a powerful new mental health model
Wrote a fast track training and a prescriptive manual for practitioners.
Founded a mental health charity, and trained volunteers to work in this new way.
Had the training accredited by the National College of Further Education (NCFE)
Wrote a book called PTSD Resolution; reclaiming life from trauma.
Established the Integrated Coaching Academy, to pass on cutting-edge skills to mental health practitioners.
The journey continues
I have now started work on the Fusion Foundation, with the goal of getting free therapeutic coaching into schools, to prevent the students of today becoming the mental health patients of tomorrow. Please help me do that for our children. Let’s all do what we can, to help our young people feel their best, be their best and go on to live their very best lives.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this
Please pass this on to friends if you think they might be able to help with something which is so needed, so worthwhile and so achievable. If you want to support the important mission to help our children by offering your time or a donation, you can contact me on the form below or make a donation to help fund a therapeutic coach in schools.
Since gaining the Fusion Therapeutic Coaching Diploma and working with children as young as 10 years old, I have experienced nothing less then good outcomes with my clients.
I get my clients to focus on solutions rather then exploring the problem too much.
Whilst not dismissing their issues, I am able to explain how to retrain their brain and challenge their negative thinking. Even with youngsters, this uncomplicated, beautifully simple method works well and I would implore any one wishing to support and empower people to learn more about the Fusion model.'
Lisa O'Neill lisa.oneill.co.uk