What is love light and peace ?
A meditation and well-being initiative, to bring meditation, mindfulness and yoga classes to every adolescent in Sefton, Liverpool and Merseyside aged 12-25.
Mainly holistic services are aimed at adults or younger primary aged children, interest is starting to gain momentum in the benefit of these activities, Although these skills are not being taught to our teens regularly, nor do they form part of the national curriculum.
Times are changing and support hasn't kept up
Our children live in an age of social exclusion, unrealistic demands, and constant stresses, currently we are in the midst of a national mental health crisis, with statistics showing that 1 in 3 children will suffer with a mental health condition, at some point during childhood, stressed, burnt out, suicidal waiting months - years for appointments at CAMHS due to cuts, an over stretched NHS and limited community interventions.
These mental health statistics will help you understand more about the scale of mental health issues affecting people today
- 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health issue at some point in their life.
- That’s 16 million people experiencing issues such as depression, addiction, anxiety and PTSD.
- At any one time, 1/6th of the population will be experiencing a mental health problem.
- This means that right now there are at least 10 million children and adults having issues with their mental health and well-being.
- 1 in 10 schoolchildren have a diagnosable mental health condition.
- If children aged between 5 and 16 don’t get the support they need, their problems will get worse. And it’s vital that they get help with their issues now
- 75% of all mental health problems are established by the time someone is 18.
- 75% of young people who are experiencing mental health problems aren’t receiving treatment, This problem is largely caused by a lack of available services. Not only would providing more money for support services benefit young people who are experiencing mental health issues, it would also be a good investment,
- The estimated costs of mental health problems in the UK are over £100 billion each year. This figure includes both the cost of providing treatment for mental health issues, and the cost to the economy from people missing work due to mental health problems. The economic cost of mental health problems should not be underestimated, because:
- Mental health is the single largest cause of disability in the UK. In terms of causing disability, mental health is a bigger problem than both cancer and cardiovascular disease. Yet treatment for mental health problems is still woefully inadequate.
What does Love Light Peace want to do ?
I want to re-train and take meditation, mindfulness and yoga to schools, hospitals, social services and youth clubs to help bridge the gap in mental health services, to teach teenagers the skills to help care for and manage their own mental health needs, during these prolonged waits for intervention.
Why are we crowdfunding?
My target of £3500 broken down
My initial target of £3500 is to help me with training courses and the development of my skills set, the current cost of yoga training is around £750+ (which is not covered by any government backed schemes or learning loans like most traditional educational routes) which will in turn enable me to train my own staff, cutting costs on expansion in the future, the equipment needed for the classes, marketing and workshop resources.
Initially I plan on offering mindful yoga meditation classes, geared towards reconnecting with yourself, the power of a positive mindset and Reiki energy healing to my clients, later adding mindfulness in the form of Sister Circle's, initially these will be aimed at teenage girls, to promote body image, body confidence, self love and overall well-being.
Once this is up and running, I plan to train in more holistic therapies, and conventional therapies including counselling, CBT and adolescent life coaching, so that I can bring more to this remit I feel moved to work with and offer a well rounded holistic approach, to the age group 12-25.
Current support needs a re-vamp!
Having talked to my own teenage girls, and their friends over the last few years, I can see just how much this is needed for them. In an age of social media when young girls are obsessed with perfection, and their socials back up this ideology, they end up feeling down and worthless because they do not meet these unrealistic demands, being the mum of alternative children who self-identify as Emo, who don't actually fit the social norms, I know first hand how low self-worth and low self-esteem, can have a massive impact on their well-being, and attainment levels, bullied for daring to be different, with no adults in authority actually listening to them or taking these issues seriously, these issues are real for our children girls and boys.
I have never been a teenage boy, nor do I have any yet! (he’s only 5) but I hope to learn about the issues they face during their adolescent years and hopefully introduce brother circles. To encourage young men to be open and honest about their feelings and remove the stigma attached to male mental health.
The Ethos and vision for Love Light Peace is to always keep therapies and interventions affordable and accessible, I have personally found that the holistic industry, can price out the very people who need this support the most, at times having to make a choice between money and healing therapies, I hope to also work with the job center, care homes, social services and domestic refuges, to help these individuals move forward and reach their full potential. Becoming a cheerleader for this generation.
My "ultimate" goal would be to run as a charity so that finances are never the reason for someone not being able to access this type of intervention.
Why this path now ?
All my life, I have had an underlying passion to help people, always drawn to children mainly adolescents, to inspire, connect, heal, help and grow. Even at my age now, I still relate so strongly to the feelings of this age group. remembering my own childhood and interventions I so desperately needed at the time.
At times conversations with my girls take me right back to those difficult teenage days, and I can’t help but sympathize with them, give them some of my logic and ask them to rise above it and ride out the last few years of school the best they can. BUT.... should our children be made to endure this day in and day out, bulling unkind words more trauma to add to an already unkind world, being encouraged to suck it up and get on with it no matter how unhappy, depressed, anxious and nervous it makes them feel, with out equipping them with the skills to succeed.
I remember a conversation with the well-being officer at my daughters' previous school when discussing her mental health, and it went a little like this..
Me: "why can't girls just be kind in this day and age, and big each other up instead of pulling each other down, why do they feel that belittling another child is the way forward, if they have nothing nice to say why do they not just keep quiet".
Teacher: "well, not all children are taught this at home"
Me: "well, do you think it would be important to teach this in school instead then?, we are all unique and each have qualities that make for a better world and these should be embraced not bullied"
Teacher: "well maybe yes"
This was the end of the conversation!, and nothing more was done about the major issues impacting our children's mental health and well-being, so unless I be the change that I want to see within our schools how are things going to improve for them?.
It was shortly after this conversation, many breakdowns, tears and I just don't want to be there's later, that we decided we could just not get the help, support, attitude or approach we so desperately needed for my daughters mental health, in our local comprehensive school's having already moved twice, we knew the environment was slowly killing my daughters spirit.
Let the battle commence!
After a friend mentioned that we should try a smaller environment for her, and told us about bursary's at fee paying schools, how her child was nourished and well catered for, we began the battle to get in, we won! (mainly down to my daughters, natural passions, talent and book smarts thankfully!). My daughter is now fully supported and her mental health issues catered for in school, and only after 6 months I can already see a massive improvement. But! this isn't fee-sable for every child in the country and this is why I want/need to be the part of the change.
Who am I? The lady behind the idea.
My name is Karlla, I am a 33 year old mum of 2 and bonus mum to 2, 3 being teenage girls 14,15,15 ;-). I enjoy yoga, reading philosophy, meditation, and lover of all things spiritual.
I was placed in the care system at age 12 by my parents and step mother, who were unable to handle my emotions and outward projections. I now believe that my parents, were also broken people, who had not healed from their own traumas, unable to see what was happening to me, the emotional abuse they geared towards me the physical & psychological abuse of my step-mother or the sexual abuse of my step-father, , their own trauma's blocking out the reasons for my behaviour unable to hear my cries for help, only concerning themselves, with well themselves and me not being the text book child they insisted I be. Not looking at the causes of my behavior or my cries for help.
Mental health back then!
During the late 90's and 2000's, mental health and well-being was not at the forefront of any care plans, or service's nor was any remedies put in place during the most difficult age range of life 13-18, to support me, an age when you are already lost and searching for who you are and what life means.
This resulted in traumas, I held on to all my life, little traits, behaviours and fears no longer relevant to the 33 year old I have become.
Anxiety, Depression, Intrusive Thoughts, PTSD, fear of rejection, Abuse, toxic relationships, years and years of hurt, pain and betrayal, by those who were meant to love me the most, my caregivers, a lost lonely teen, with no constant in the crazy, no cheerleader to fuel my inner passions, who then carried all this with me to adulthood, repeating the same patterns time after time.
I could write a book!, maybe I will? who knows? but I digress.
Life after that!
I managed and coped through life working full time, raising a family, and cleaning like a crazy woman (you know because I was in control) pushing these thoughts feelings and insecurities to the back of my mind, it was so long ago? why am I still bothered? I no longer live that life, yet somehow, I knew deep down that I had not healed from such a traumatic childhood.
How mental health impacted my little family like never before!
Lets go to a concert.
On the 22nd May 2017 my daughter and I were present the night of the Manchester bombing, we both escaped unharmed physically (thankfully given that 22 innocent souls lost their life that night), however the same cannot be said for emotionally and mentally.
My daughter was diagnosed with complex PTSD as a result of the things she witnessed that night, as her mum I knew no other option then show up, listen, and google till my head span, and try my best to help with the pain she was feeling, at 12 the things that she seen, no child should ever see, not only did I have to deal with how I was effected, by the events of this awful night (survivors guilt and not protecting my baby from the events that unfolded). My baby my first born the little one who made me the Mumma I am today, was broken, lost and self-harming. Her inner narrative broken, confusing her and making her feel suicidal and worthless. School tried to reassure me they were doing everything in her best interest, yet nothing was working, their best in my opinion wasn’t enough they just didn’t get it, nor did the other children ridiculing her when she suddenly burst in to tears during a lesson, or punishing her when it all got too much and she would project verbally, being just 12 and dealing with these massive thoughts, feelings, and emotions was just too much for her little mind, she felt unheard and rejected a school, her mates and life in general.
We have undergone years of different therapy's, with massive thanks to the Manchester resilience hub (a charity set up to help victims and their family’s) in order to overcome the mental battles we face. Yet even these were not dealing with the inner narrative, anxiety brings with it.
During this time we have discovered just how over stretched and underfunded NHS mental health services are for our children, how hard these are to access as a family or how long we have to wait watching those we love wait for urgent support, with nothing in the meantime from school perspective, or the need to by-pass waiting lists to pay for private therapy.
BUT! that wasn't all, Life had one more trick up its sleeve to see what we was made of
8 months after the concert, we was delivered the final straw for my mental health! And probably my daughters.
I was diagnosed with stage 3 rectal cancer (just 6 months from being palliative care only, I know what a lucky girl I was!, that I went to the Dr's when I did.
18 months of Chemotherapy Radiotherapy more Chemotherapy a giant operation, the menopause Lynch syndrome diagnosis, Stoma colostomy and the failing of my body during treatments the event broke me finally! some would say, given all that I had already been through, it was during this time, my mental health plummeted further in to an abyss, with no body nor mind that I could count on, I was rock bottom, and couldn't "manage" my conditions any more, I discovered no more readily available mental health services that I hadn't already tried and failed to get what I needed, met with waiting lists, hurdles to jump over or needing to repeatedly say the same things over and over.
I cant do this any more
It was during my darkest days being suicidal knowing I could never leave my babies to become children of the care system, (this just isn't an option for me, although many a time over my life I have sat, whilst feeling and thinking this was the only way out, stopped each time by the thoughts of leaving them alone with no one to be their cheerleader). I sought alternatives, there must be something that I can do to support healing my own, mental health once and for all, so that after cancer I am a healed best version of myself, living my best life, a life living in my own power, enjoying all it has to offer no more just managing and masking my mental health and getting through life anymore. It was time to make a change making my own mental health and well-being priority, now is the time that I finally heal and let go, no more talking therapies or skirting around issues, I have tried these countless times over the years, and anyone who knows me, knows I have no problem talking and telling my story, nothing is off limits in my circle, I am an open book.
Was I that broken that even specialist mental health therapies couldn't work for me ?
Having dabbled for a while with yoga and meditation here and there in the few years leading up to my breakdown, I looked further into these activities, that suggest mindfulness and meditation as the future for our well-being, there must be something in it I told myself, what do I have to lose at this point? I can’t go any further down and up is the only option.
A reading from a psychic in August 2019 (not everyone's cup of tea nor was it mine in the previous 8 years due to how bad the mental battle was in my own mind worried they could read my thoughts and would judge me as a terrible person) who said a LOT of things she couldn't have known suggested meditation to help my mind I thought why not what have I got to loose, so I took to YouTube and done every guided meditation I could on the issues I was facing, childhood trauma and the impact is has on adulthood, learning about learnt behaviors and protection methods of the soul, how the negative outside commentary of my parents, step mum, social workers, teachers, old friends and other family members all my life had reinforced this belief that I just wasn't good enough to be loved or great at anything or deserving of these new found healing methods I had found working through my learnt behaviors, and seeing these false parts of me fall away. One by one, issue by issue I began to see it all for what it was, my mind and learnt patterns so deep routed that I had no idea that this was the reason behind my low self worth anxiety and depression.
This approach has worked wonders for me and over the past 6 months and I continue to deal with a my trauma, even working through things I had suppressed by choice to protect my self.
Life after all
12 months post cancer, as I ponder my next career move, I can see no way of returning to my 9-5 in administration exchanging my time for money, in jobs I just don't have any passion for, or returning to anything that does not sing to my heart, How can I after such a life changing experience, allow anything to return to the way it was, during my dark an lonely cancer journey, I have had to face the reality that nothing will ever be the same again!.
Although I still have one more complicated operation to have in the next month or so, now is the time, to be the change I want to see for the mental health services for our NEXT GENERATION, I have already started my meditation teacher training whilst I wait for my next operation so that once I am healed from surgery, (approx September 2020) I am able to hit the ground running with my initial idea, starting up meditation classes. Having worked since the age of 13 being off for 2 years to concentrate on my health has been a big wake up call.
I am not made to do nothing!, I have a voice, passion and more life experience then I would ever wish on anyone.
I cant do it with out the help and support of the local and wider community.
I am currently running in Natwest's Back Her business bring it 2020 competition the rules of state that I need too: Gain £50 worth of pledges to be matched by Bring it 2020, for another £50, following this I then need to raise at least another £450 in pledges from the crowd (at least nine supporters) being supported by at least 10 backers in total so every penny really does count towards this project, to be in with a chance of getting to the final stages of the competition and be in the running to receive:
One person will receive a £10,000 cash prize
Four people will receive a £5000 cash prize
Twenty people will receive a £2020 cash prize