Fegans run parenting teenage events where in excess of 200 families come to receive valuable insights into how to “thrive, not just survive” the teenage years. Coincidentally, this is the theme of this year’s mental health week. When parents stop to think about the incredibly complex changes occurring in the adolescent brain they begin to understand why their rapid evolution into adulthood can be incredibly painful for the child and the parent. The secret to thriving in this difficult phase is to accept that it will be a challenge but that it will pass, and by investing heavily in our children, spending loving time building relationships as much as we can.
So for me the thrive not survive aspect of mental health week has deep parallels. At Fegans our qualified counsellors often take children, young people and adults on a journey from surviving to thriving. When beginning therapy they are often merely surviving life, some self-harming and suicidal, yet by the end of the sessions clients begin to thrive once more as they are supported through their pain and offered coping strategies for life going forward.
On a personal note, as a Christian thriving is knowing that I am loved by my Father in heaven, come what may, and that he has a plan for me that inspires hope.
Whatever you believe, take a deep breath today, enjoy the weather (even if you have rain!), and try to forgive and love unconditionally. Even just for a day.
Ian Soars, Fegans’ CEO