Thursday, 22 October 2020

Looking After Children's Mental Health with Mindscreen


A laptop with a plant in front of it, with the title overlaid
I was approached by the lovely team at Mindscreen to ask if I would review their Mindscreen Experience Toolkit, which helps parents learn more about their children's mental health and how to support them. I was very excited about this prospect, as it's no secret that mental health is a massive issue for children and young people today and, as parents, it can be really worrying. There are more outside influences than ever before in our children's lives and most are not easily accessible to us. Technology constantly advances and throws up new potential threats with each new app or chatroom and the pace of life and demands on our kids can seem relentless, so I am right behind any tool that helps parents navigate those tricky teenage years. 


Sponsored by Mindscreen

The Mindscreen website is refreshingly easy to navigate and you can find your way around easily. There are four toolkits available, ranging from one child to a whole family, but it's recommended that you include yourself in the programme, to allow for comparison and to learn about yourself in relation to your child. There is a free self-esteem check for your child, which you can access without signing up for the programme and that will give you an insight into how the toolkit works as well as into your child's mental wellbeing.  It involves answering a range of questions on a scale of  'always' to 'never'. It really made me think about my son's everyday mood and behaviour and what it might be indicating. Once completed, a report is instantly generated explaining how your observations of your child translate in terms of their self-esteem and what action you can take. You also have the opportunity to ask someone else to take the test on behalf of your child, in order to ensure your answers are fair and unbiased. Sometimes when you are with someone all the time, your perception of them can differ from another person's, so this aspect can be helpful in securing an accurate result. This is my Self Esteem report. Turns out I'm pretty upbeat, but I know I answered in the negative for some of the questions, which explains why I still need work.

Screen grab of my Self Esteem Check, which was high with a brief description of what this means and action recommendations

When you've selected your programme and received your log-in, you will find a welcome page which takes you through the process and how to get the most out of it. It offers a lot of helpful guidance and I felt more confident once I'd read it. Next, you can start the programme, which involves completing a profile for yourself, and asking your child to do the same. It's recommended that you complete a profile for yourself first and to do that you have to add yourself as a child, which wasn't immediately obvious, but I figured it out pretty quick. There are quite a few questions, each of which involves putting a list of statements in order of most likely to least likely, according to your preference. It is suggested that you go with your first instinct and don't dwell on the questions, but if you or your child are analytical thinkers, this may take some time. My son is analytical and he found it very hard to go with his first instinct and deliberated for quite a while on each question. After he had completed his profile, we ended the session, as we had answered a lot of questions and felt it was time to call it a day, before he got too bogged down with it. It is quite tricky to keep an unmotivated teen on task, but hopefully, he will find it easier to follow the more involved aspects of the programme as it moves on. Once completed, a profile will be generated with 15 pages of helpful, easy-to-read insights into how your child learns and how they can use this knowledge to facilitate success. There is also a Learning Improvement Graph and Personal Learning Style report, as shown below. All of these visual aids serve to provide a simple way of making sense of the data provided. 

Screen grab of my Personal Learning Style, which features coloured blocks of text and emojis to make it appealing.

As you can see, the presentation of the data is succinct and easy to understand, so you can give the profile to the child and they will easily be able to own it and make sense of it, giving them full control of the Mindscreen process and helping them fully embrace the experience. I think this is a very important aspect as if you want to explore and improve someone's self-esteem and confidence, it's always going to be more successful with them fully on board. Once all of this has been completed, you can access the lesson plan section via your account and see at a glance what comes next in the program. Each lesson plan has a parent/carer guide, as well as a learner diary for each child taking part, once again, giving the child control and responsibility for their learning journey. There is guidance all the way through so, although it can seem a little overwhelming at first, the steps are explained as you go along. The part that I'm most enjoying at the moment is that there is a lot of work to do, which I think represents good value for money. This certainly seems to be a very well-organised, comprehensive program and I'm looking forward to seeing where this adventure takes us. Join me in a couple of weeks' time for the next instalment of our Mindscreen Experience. 


A review of the Mindscreen experience, a self esteem and mental health toolikt for young people


Top photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Pinterest image by Sarah Dorweiler on Unsplash



 

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21 comments

  1. What a great idea, to have an app like this for children's mental health and self esteem. The profile sounds interesting and helpful, I like the How and What sections to gain an insight into how the child's mind works

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    1. It was certainly an eye-opener for me. I've learned a lot already!

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  2. I've never heard of this company or the Toolkit but what a fantastic idea. As you say, keeping a check on our children's mental health is more important than ever right now. I love that they can really own the process as well. Will definitely take a look at Mindscreen, thank you for your review so far, I hope it continues to go as well!

    Lisa | https://www.lisasnotebook.com

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  3. This sounds ideal for the current situation we find ourselves in, taking care of our mental health is paramount and to do that, firstly you need to ascertain how it’s currently faring. My daughter had some mental health issues a few years ago, at school and the waiting lists to see anyone were quite long, I expect it’s even harder to get an appointment now so it’s good to know there’s something that parents can do

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    1. It's lovely that you can go through the program at your own pace and in your own time too, you're not tied to a time when they might not want to know!

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  4. wow ill definatly be looking at mindscreen ive been increasingly worried about my daughter this year with everything going on would you say there was an age limit ?

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    1. It's aimed at children from 11-16, but I don't think there's any reason why you couldn't go through it with a younger child, you might have to explain some of the terms and bigger words, though.

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  5. If my parents used something like this when we were growing up, I think some of my siblings would have ended up differently.

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    1. I know what you mean, there was barely any support when I was at school, especially not for families.

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  6. that is such a great tool. very useful and I think it would work on most kids very positively

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    1. It's certainly being received positively by my son so far and that's quite impressive for a teenage boy!

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  7. With everything that is going on at the moment this sounds great. I'm sure many parents will use it for their kids.

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    1. I hope so, I really think it could help

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  8. Great to have for parents as an insight to their children's thought processes and feelings, especially with the year we've all had.

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    1. Absolutely, I've found it really reassuring

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  9. First time I hear about this program.Sounds really interesting and of course very useful for parents.

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  10. With the increasing issues in mental health among young adults in today's society, it's comforting to know that there is a company that is making it a priority. I'm sure that the impact of the current pandemic is only going to make matters worse.

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  11. It's so great to see parents taking such an interest into their children these days! My friends and I never got this kind of care, and it still affects our day to day lives even now as adults, but I still smile knowing that those mistakes has created adults who make products and programs who make sure the next generation of parents don't make those same mistakes. I can go to sleep happy knowing that this generation of children don't have to suffer in silence like we did! ☺️

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  12. This app sounds great for parents to connect with their children. I will check it out as I have two teenagers!

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  13. This isn't a bad idea at all for an app. It's amazing how many people including children have issues with mental health these days. Not a bad idea at all.

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