Workshops focus on children’s wellbeing

Headshot of Shannon Smith
Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser
Email Shannon Smith
Di Willcox with students and her book The Magic Coat.
Camera IconDi Willcox with students and her book The Magic Coat.

Di Wilcox is coming to Albany to run free sessions for parents and children after hearing about the region’s youth mental health struggles.

The parenting and education expert, and author of The Magic Coat, specialises in strategies to help children deal with common childhood problems.

Her magic coat analogy teaches children to use their imagination to create tools to deal with their emotions and to feel safe and confident.

Magic coat team-member Mel Hyde, who is from Albany, was made aware her home town had a need for some potentially lifesaving advice.

The team made contact with local schools and received a positive response to the idea of hosting free sessions in Albany.

Wilcox said as a primary school teacher, she would see so many children zone out during classes.

“They worried about things such as Mum and Dad arguing, not enough food on the table, no money, kids not liking them, being bullied, or hating who they were,” she said.

“It made me so sad because childhood should be a magical part of life, but for so many children it is not.

“I wanted to give children the tools to know that they could get through some of these issues and would be OK.

“Children can experience the same mental health conditions as adults but can sometimes express them differently.”

Wilcox said youth mental health issues were on the rise, with one in 10 children suffering from anxiety.

“These workshops provide parents, teachers and children with a common language to develop good social-emotional wellbeing, resilience and confidence, which all contribute to positive mental health,” she said.

“The sooner children learn these strategies, the better they can cope with day-to-day childhood pressures.”

Wilcox will host workshops at the Beryl Grant Communtiy Centre in Albany from March 16-19.

More information and registrations are available at themagiccoat.com and on Facebook.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails