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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
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Reading Den – a new chapter to support children’s mental health in Solihull

Published: 14/05/2018
Families and carers in Solihull are being encouraged to access a new specialist collection of books, stories and resources to support children’s mental health and wellbeing.

The new Chelmsley Wood Reading Den opens today (Monday 14 May) at Chelmsley Wood Library. The Den provides specialist books, stories and resources to promote mental health wellbeing for parents, carers and children across Solihull. It has been designed with the particular needs of fostered and adopted children and young people in mind.

The Den is a partnership between The Solihull Library Service and Solar, the emotional wellbeing and mental health service for children and young people in Solihull, which is provided by Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (BSMHFT) in partnership with Barnardo’s and Autism West Midlands.

The Den is crammed full of titles, stories, audio books and DVDs specially chosen for their qualities in engaging primary school age children to talk more openly about emotions and feelings. You can see the whole collection and reserve titles online at http://www.solihull.gov.uk/Resident/Libraries/chelmsleywoodreadingden

The Mayor of Solihull, Councillor Stuart Davis, formally opens the Reading Den on the first day of Mental Health Awareness Week and Foster Care Fortnight. The opening features an inclusive creative poetry session and a special storytelling for local pre-school children.

BSMHFT Chief Executive John Short said: “We know reading and storytelling can help children gain confidence in talking about their thoughts, feelings and experiences. These handpicked stories are designed to make it easier for parents and carers to open up those healthy conversations with children and are a helpful resource for any family in Solihull.”

Councillor Ken Meeson, Cabinet Member for Children, Education & Skills said: ”The Reading Den will be a wonderful resource for children, parents and carers alike. It’s really important that children feel able to talk about their emotions and hopefully the books and stories will help them to do just that.”

Councillor Tony Dicicco, Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities & Partnerships said: “This project highlights how effective partnership working can be. Solihull’s libraries are at the heart of the community, and by working closely with Solar and Foster Carers, they will provide a valuable resource for families across the borough.

Daniela Visram, a local foster carer, explains: “I’m really excited about the Reading Den.  I read every night to the boys as it’s a perfect opportunity to build bonds, repair relationships and end the day on a positive note.”
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