TheMHS – Andrew Fuller

One of the speakers at TheMHS I found really inspiring was Andrew Fuller. He has a really warm, friendly manner and approaches his subject with a great deal of gentle humour. He’s another great advocate for a more human approach in mental health. He’s done a lot of work about mental health in kids and teens, and how to build resilience in young people. You can read the points of his talk here on the TheMHS blog. Just a note – he wasn’t saying that everyone struggles at all of those times, he was saying those periods are common stress times that some kids will really struggle with. His website is here, and includes a number of free downloads about topics such as building confidence. He mentions but didn’t go into a concept called Flow, which he says is highly protective against depression. You can read a little about flow here. There’s an interesting article about teenage development here. He’s also published a number of books, such as the gorgeous Tricky Kids, he drew on some of that material for his talk at TheMHS. His basic point was that tricky kids might make you want to strangle them, but they have great skills for adulthood, provided they live that long! And that one of the main factors in kids getting through challenging circumstances was having even just one connection to an invested adult who genuinely liked and ‘got’ them. Makes sense to me. 🙂

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