Storybook helps struggling kids after parent’s injury

A new storybook Bracky builds a new lair helps guide children through significant life changes, as the latest research reveals that up to 2.5 million children experience mental health issues as a result of injury or illness from a parent

New data shows that 58% (2.5million) of children in the UK struggle with mental health issues such as anxiety, insomnia and PTSD as a result of injury or serious illness of their parent or carer.

Major life upheavals including lack of education, moving house, witnessing a divorce, being cared for by relatives or friends and being forced to ‘Caring responsibilities for their own caregivers, contribute to high levels of stress in children.

Led by law firm Fletchers Serious Injury, the data showed that significant life disruption leads to short- and long-term mental health issues, with children in shock, tantrums, anxiety and insomnia. In the most severe cases, children are diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of the trauma they suffered.

In response to the data, the law firm has collaborated with Charlotte Beaumont, child psychotherapist and counsellor, to create a new children’s book that explores the emotional and practical challenges a family may face following a significant upheaval in the life or serious injury.

Bracky builds a new lair follows the story of Bracky, a happy dinosaur who suffers trauma when his father sustains a serious injury. Born from the advice of therapists and testimonials from families and children who have suffered serious injuries, Bracky builds a new lair is a sensitive and empathetic guide for children aged five to eight, who live in dinosaur-like circumstances.

“When an event like this happens, children naturally try to make sense of the world around them with the explanations they have,” says Charlotte Beaumont. “It’s helpful to help children understand in an age-appropriate way what happened and update that as they grow to accommodate their more sophisticated development.

“This [the book] can serve as a conversation starter with families who find themselves in a similar story, giving them the opportunity to explore the situation from different angles, because although the story presents trauma, it also highlights the transition to a “new normal” and a sense of hope for what is to come.

Getting together as a family can help create a sense of control and clarity in situations where children may feel lost and confused. As Charlotte says, storytelling can be a great way to heal together and discuss what might be possible in the future.

Bracky builds a new lair is available for download as an e-book on the Fletchers Serious Injury website, where you can also find a variety of activities and fact sheets for children to help them deal with challenges from a parent or caregiver suffering from a serious injury.

Learn more about child mental health support and contact a qualified advisor via Advice directory.

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