What we do
What we do
Blue Smile promotes a whole school approach to mental wellbeing. In addition to our one-to-one counselling and therapy for children, aged three to 13, our extensive Menu of Services offers individual and group support to school staff as well as workshops and group work for parents and children. When working with children, we use proven fun, arts-based therapies which engage the child in a non-threatening way, helping the individual to organise their feelings and process traumatic experiences. So far, our highly skilled therapists and mentors have helped over 1,000 children to be happier and feel better.
We are proud of the impact we have made in 2017-18
of parents say their child improved because of Blue Smile
of children with very worrying mental health issues improved
of teachers say their child improved because of Blue Smile
We have two types of children’s service: our subsidised Partner Schools and our flexible Outreach service
Partner School service
We currently have nine Partner Schools, mostly in areas of disadvantage.
Teams of six to seven therapists and mentoring counsellors, led by experienced Team Leaders, work in Partner Schools one day a week. On each ‘Blue Smile Day’ the team works one-to-one with up to 18 pupils. Therapists also work with parents, carers and teachers on goals and strategies for helping the child with their emotions. Stigma around mental health and well-being is kept to a minimum because we’re seen as part of the school.
We subsidise this service and use our Partner Schools as practitioner training and development hubs. Children with less complex needs see our mentoring counsellors who are volunteers early in their clinical training.
Outreach pupil therapy
Blue Smile Outreach uses our most highly qualified therapists who work in schools across Cambridgeshire and surrounding areas. Individual therapists usually see three or four children, often with complex needs, in each school. Counselling is a recognised use of pupil premium.
Outreach Menu of Services
We offer a large range of other services within Outreach, including groupwork for children, teacher training, work with parents and carers, and teacher ‘mentoring support’ – giving teachers and senior managers time to consider personal and professional issues affecting their work.
Please read our Outreach Menu of Service Leaflet to learn more about how our menu of services could be tailored to support your school. Also download, print and share our helpful Parenting Leaflet within your school.
How therapeutic support can help
Empathic support through therapy and mentoring helps children and young people to manage and make sense of their feelings. It builds self-esteem, confidence, self-control, concentration and the ability to form good relationships.
The referrals taken by Blue Smile include support for children experiencing difficulties such as:
- distress, grief and bereavement
- relationship problems
- stress and post-traumatic stress
- withdrawn behaviour
- anxiety states
- eating disorders
- adjustments to illness
- panic attacks
- behavioural problems
- suicidal thoughts
Therapy and counselling work towards better coping strategies and school performance, and away from later mental health difficulties and problem behaviours.
The government recognises the importance of such early intervention and a good school is judged by its ability to deal with problems that arise, while OFSTED increasingly recognises the important part played by counselling in a school’s pastoral care system.
Blue Smile has exemplary safeguarding practices and policies.
Blue Smile is passionate about supporting the development of clinical trainees and qualified practitioners so they can continuously improve the skills needed to work effectively with children, schools and families. We draw on our own expertise in children and young people’s mental health as well as that of external trainers to provide high quality, regular clinical training workshops throughout the year. Our full and half day ‘Skills in the Room’ workshops combine theoretical and experiential learning, incorporate the use of arts and play and are open to practitioners from various organisations as well as those within Blue Smile.
To find about more about therapist training events, click here.