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Meet our Child Mental Health Charter Committee.

A team of PTUK therapists, championing and campaigning for the future of child mental health services.

Claire Baits

 Claire is an Accredited Play Therapist on the Register of Creative Arts Therapist (PTUK) which is accredited by the Professional Standards Agency (PSA). Claire has worked as a play therapist with Women’s Aid, Barnardos within a CAMHS team, local authority and in private practice since 2014. Also trained in Filial Therapy Claire supports families creating stronger relationships. Claire has a background supporting children, young people and families spanning 28 years in a variety of roles in the private, public and voluntary sectors.

 

Her journey has taken her to Cyprus and Zimbabwe, spending 16 years overseas. Claire’s early childhood experiences and later living separated from her family and children introduced her to the world of therapy, self-reflection, health, and wellbeing. Returning to the UK working with children and family’s resident in a refuge she began to ask questions about the impact of their experiences and how to support their emotional and wellbeing needs. This led to her undertaking further qualifications in play therapy. Today she uses creative arts and play therapy to support children that have experienced events in their lives that impact on their emotional wellbeing.

Seeing the level of need in her work and how creative therapy changes lives she is passionate about supporting children’s mental health. This led her to joining the Children Mental Health Charter Committee.

Sarah Vaughan

Hi, I’m Sarah a Play Therapist registered with PTUK and have just completed my PG Diploma. I chose this career after being a Foster Carer for many years and to witness how vital it was for a child who struggled to express themselves verbally to be listened to and be able to express their thoughts, feelings and to have the space to play out their trauma.

I became interested in being part of the Child Mental Health Charter to try and create change at governmental level and passionately believe in the Charters 6 main principles. It is vital that the voice of the child should be heard and respected, that the therapist is trained to a high level and regulated, and that funding should be provided to support the mental health of our children.

Cathy Baker

Meeting with my MP was a daunting prospect, but knowing how important the Child’s Mental Health Charter campaign is, it didn’t feel like a choice – more something I just needed to do. My experience of meeting with my MP was really positive, she was interested to learn about the campaign and it was a lot easier to discuss than I’d expected because I knew that what I was talking about was important and would make a difference.

I would urge you to contact your MP for a meeting if you feel able, and if not, to send the template letter. You could make a real difference to our campaign and to the children who could benefit from it!

Sarah Bentley

As an accredited Play Therapist, initially writing to my MP was a scarry thought, but I knew I had to support the many families I work with on a daily basis, who face struggles because of “the systems”.

But the journey that has followed, initially writing to my MP, has led me to speak at the PTUK conference in 2022, expressing my passion for children’s mental health and then having the privilege to represent PTUK, by speaking at the All Party Parliamentary Group at the Houses of Parliament, on a Fit and Healthy Childhood, in June 2022….Wow…

Together we are stronger……we really are…

Lois Bunn

I’m a Play Therapist working privately and in primary schools in Worcestershire.  I joined the CMHC committee as a constructive way to channel my growing frustrations – Seeing children not getting the therapy they need and deserve, whether receiving no therapy at all, not having long enough in therapy or receiving inappropriate or unqualified help.

I would also love to see Play Therapy recognised and respected more, for the life changing opportunity it offers.

Claire Willett

I have been working with children for over 12 years and have a passion for the mental health and well-being of our children.

I became a play therapist as I feel that is integral to supporting children develop their emotional literacy skills, to manage their feelings, to deal with any negative experiences that could impact their futures and to become secure individuals. I feel that this charter is vital to this philosophy.

Zoe Beaudro

My name is Zoë and I set up Woodlark Play and Creative Arts Therapy in 2018.  I am a Certified Play and Creative Arts Therapist based in Stroud in Gloucestershire.  I’m a registered member of PTUK and BACP.  I became a therapist as I was concerned about the rise in mental health issues in children and young people and didn’t think their needs were best met by short term interventions and solely talking therapies.

I began to read more about brain development, attachment, trauma informed approaches and psychotherapy and discovered play therapy.  Since qualifying I have also been trained in CPRT (Child and Parent Relationship Therapy) and I’m a Foundational Theraplay Practitioner and Trainee Clinical Supervisor.  I  have completed an MA looking at Polyvagal Theory and Developmental Trauma which prompted me to get involved with the Chartar due to my findings.

I love working with children and young people in a way that really makes a difference to their lives and connects with the bottom up brain approach.  I also recognise how hard it still is for people to access therapy – and even then, it’s often short term therapy that is offered.  I hope with the charter we can change that, and also ensure that Play Therapy is recognised as the evidence based, awesome offering that it is, that works on all levels of the brain and has such a huge impact on the children and families we all work with.

Kathryn Harvey

Hi I’m Kathryn, I’m a certified Play Therapist registered with PTUK, having recently completed my Post Grad Diploma. I currently teach in a secondary school for pupils with severe learning difficulties, I have worked in my current school for 15 years and until recently I was part of the senior leadership team.
I became a Play Therapist as I could see that there is an ever-increasing demand for mental health support for pupils. For children with learning difficulties, dealing with adverse experiences and difficult emotions this can be exacerbated by additional needs such as sensory processing difficulties and issues around communication. As a member of SLT I was dealing with issues that would arise due to pupils struggling, and the appropriate support not being available, for both pupils and their families/caregivers. By becoming a Play Therapist, I have been able to support children to learn the skills they need to become more resilient, whilst providing them with a safe space to express themselves and their emotions. I have joined the CMHC committee as I feel that more needs to be done to support children and young people’s mental health. Change begins at a governmental level, and I believe that the charter will drive the change that is needed.