Nottinghamshire educators on a mission to 'save lives' through early intervention

By Keimae Blake

Three Nottingham educators are working with the hopes to prevent possible suicides and protect the wellbeing of young people.

Jackie Wilson, from Arnold, and Claire Clements, who lives in Bingham, are co-founders of Positively Empowered Kids and work with Debra Webster, an illustrator from Ruddington.

Positively Empowered Kids is a social enterprise with experts helping young people and their parents ‘'to feel more confident managing the everyday ups and downs of life'' and understanding thoughts and emotions to avoid dangerous coping mechanisms in later life.

This is done through online well being hubs and workshops.

“We are here and passionate about informing families, children and the ecosystem around a child about the importance of early intervention and prevention", says Ms Clements.

"By doing this, we can help to make an impact on depression and suicide.”

A recent Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) report noted that over half of all mental health disorders start before the age of 14, with 75% by 24 years of age. Emotional disorders, particularly anxiety and depression, are on the rise.

Ms Clements, who suffered from suicidal thoughts at the age of 17, explains that suicide can still be seen as taboo.

"People feel like they've always got to have it together, a lot of it has to do with families and them understanding each other’s mindsets. With men, there’s more of a culture of not speaking out, there’s not a lot of conversations to release how they feel.”

Jackie Wilson added: "In terms of suicide, its about fear and people feeling shame, other people don’t know what to do if someone comes to them with those conversations regarding suicide, so it’s avoided."

Between the three women, two books have been written: Spread the Smile and Put on Your Positive Pants using the publisher Fuzzy Flamingo.

Both books launched in the summer and are available on Amazon.

If you need someone to talk to, you can also call the Samaritans for free on 116123 at any time of day or night or chat online here.

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