Bath Spa University and EHCAP have launched a new project of ‘Emotion Coaching’, which has been commissioned by the Somerset County Council Public Heath team.
The aim of the project is to train and develop a network of skilled professionals (such as teachers, GPs, youth workers and Early Years intervention workers).
These ‘champions’ will not only implement Emotion Coaching within their own organisations but will also take on a leadership role to cascade the work of the project to their peers.
This news comes as the UK’s first Children’s Mental Health Week is launched by the charity Place2Be.
The campaign, supported by HRH The Duchess of Cambridge, hopes to raise awareness of the benefits of getting support to children as early as possible and to encourage parents to talk openly with their children about their feelings.
The Emotion Coaching project will now be rolled out in March to professionals in South Somerset, Mendip, Sedgemoor, Taunton Deane and West Somerset district councils.
The project will include promoting the use of emotion coaching by community groups, building on and strengthening current practices and promoting the Somerset Mental Health tool kit.
Dr Sarah Temple, Director of EHCAP, said: “It’s very exciting to be involved with training emotion coaching trainers and cascading their learning across Somerset. I am delighted to be part of this transformational project”.
Emotion Coaching is a practical strategy that helps children and young people to become more aware of their emotions and to manage these feelings more effectively.
This project was inspired by Professor John Gottman’s research in the USA which showed that a child’s emotional awareness and ability to handle their feelings aided their success and happiness in life.
Dr Kate Reynolds, Dean of the School of Education at Bath Spa University commented: “There is a growing body of research that demonstrates the positive impact of Emotion Coaching on children’s social development, progress and emotional health. Bath Spa University is proud to be involved in this project.”
The launch of the project involved an initial one-day workshop with an introduction to Emotion Coaching and the neuroscience of attachment.
Further half-day workshops will include how mindfulness can be integrated into this work, how the mental health tool kit can be used, and the best ways for cascading the training within the champions’ own organisations.
Councillor Christine Lawrence, Chair, Somerset Health and Wellbeing Board, Somerset County Council said: “We are delighted to support this project with Bath Spa University which invests in the health and wellbeing of our children and young people.
“The project will operate in school and community settings, working with youngsters to help them understand their own emotions and behaviour and build strong foundations for their future.
“Helping to develop vibrant families and communities is one of our priorities here in Somerset.”