Children in Gibraltar are carrying heavy burdens that could lead to further mental health problems in the future.
HCPC registered arts therapist Nyree Robinson told The Olive Press just how bad these problems can get and what she is doing to help them.
“I don’t think we are immune in Gibraltar to the sort of Western problems every country has,” said Robinson. “A lot of children have been bullied especially in the middle school years and that causes a lot of anxiety.
“Once children assume the role of the victim, perpetrators will seek them out. They will even tell them they want to suffer and die which is horrifying.”
She added: “We need to empower the victims and the witnesses to step out to tell the bullies that this behaviour is not on.”
The therapist supports plans presented last month to target children at risk from mental health problems as early as possible.
“It surprised me how much grief children wanted to express in the sessions I’ve held,” said Robinson. “Grief is hardly ever dealt with by parents and that can lead the children to depression.”
To overcome these problems Robinson teamed up with licensed Zumba instructor Bianca Yeo to create the Super Heroes Empowerment Workshop.
“The great thing about zumba is that kids exercise without realising,” said Yeo. “The sessions are very sociable too because everyone is doing it together rather than just getting on a machine to get fit.
“It’s incredible how many people are lonely or have depression here. So Zumba really helps them open up and enjoy themselves within a closed group.”
The Workshop will be held on May 4 at Sir William Jackson Grove (Gib 5). As can be seen on social media, the one-day course is divided into the age groups of four to seven years-old and seven to 12-years-old and open to all children.