Podcasts, videos & research from leading practitioners in child mental health

MINDinMIND’s first webinar!

Play is a serious matter!


Play is central to children’s development, but opportunities for play have been badly affected by Covid-19. In a recent survey, two-thirds of parents say they are concerned about the long-term impact on the wellbeing of their children and many child professionals are concerned about the steep rise in children’s mental health problems.

At MINDinMIND.org.uk we feature interviews and research from leading clinicians who are passionate about improving child mental health. We believe play is so important for children’s development that we have chosen this subject as our first Webinar. Our speakers have decades of experience utilising the power of play in their work with children. They will be joining together with members of the therapeutic community, playworkers, social workers, teachers and parents, sharing their insight and knowledge about how we can help children reclaim play, returning it to centre place in our homes, schools and communities. It is a donation only event to enable everyone to attend regardless of income.

In this webinar we will be exploring:

  • Why play is fundamental to children’s development and how without it other capacities cannot take root
  • Why play helps children cope with anxiety and stress
  • How adults can facilitate play and better understand children through their play
  • Why play is one of the most effective ways to help children recover academic learning.
  • How can our homes, schools and communities become more play-oriented?
  • And how can adults also benefit from a more playful approach to children’s wellbeing?

Graham Music is a leading child psychotherapist and author on children’s developmental wellbeing. He will outline the vital importance of play, how children have evolved to play and why, what is gained from play and how we can facilitate its development. He will also explain the neuroscience of stress, anxiety and trauma and how it can obstruct playfulness and the capacity for play. He will also look at what new learning about the brain and nervous system is teaching us about play and its importance, and why we so badly need to reclaim it.

Penny Wilson has been a Playworker for over 30 years. She has worked with children and their communities to design playable spaces and projects throughout England and the USA and has written extensively about play. She currently works for Assemble running PlayKX in the Kings Cross Development of North London. In normal times this provides free play for children with Playworkers and loose parts for them to use in their playing. During lockdown she has facilitated online play sessions. She thinks that parents can be brilliant advocates and champions for children’s play.

Laura Walsh is Head of Play at Great Ormond Street Hospital. She will report on the research undertaken by GOSH Charity, ‘The State of Play,’ about the impact of the pandemic on how children play. Laura believes play is life-affirming for children and in its capacity to help children recover emotionally and physically.

Jane O’Rourke is a Child, Adolescent & Family Psychotherapist and Founder of MINDinMIND will chair the event.

Participants will have the opportunity to ask our guests questions and contribute to the discussion.

This session will be facilitated online via Zoom and you will receive a link the day before the session takes place.


A family photo man woman two children by the sea

Photo from Unsplash

On MINDinMIND you’ll find some of the world’s leading clinicians and wisest minds working in child mental health. They are sharing what they know about what best helps children and families.

When children and young people get into emotional difficulty, the adults who care for them need access to the latest information and thinking about child mental health.

So whether you’re working therapeutically, a social worker, parent or teacher, here you have free access to interviews, research and in-depth thinking on psychological issues such as anxiety, trauma and depression and how children and their families can cope during these times of extreme challenge.

And we are now adding webinars focussed on the most pressing issues affecting child & family mental health. They are donation-based or low cost so that everyone regardless of their income can access them.

Join our community by signing up for our email updates to let you know when new interviews, research and webinars are coming up.

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