Who can you talk to?

8th February 2008 at 00:00
A pilot project developed to protect children from sexual abuse has been extended to all schools across Forth Valley.

Feel Think Do, devised by NHS Forth Valley, in partnership with Clackmannanshire and Stirling councils and Open Secret - a confidential service for survivors of childhood abuse, is designed to help P6-7 children talk about their feelings, judge risks and keep themselves safe.

The programme was piloted in 20 schools, but its success has allowed some 200 teachers from 76 primary schools to receive training.

Pamela Vannan, senior health promotion officer at NHS Forth Valley, helped design the materials: "Children have reacted positively because we have tried to make the learning fun as well as delivering an important message."

Feel Think Do encourages children to talk and think about a number of issues linked to personal safety through a mixture of drama, group work, and class discussion. Topics covered range from emotions to risk-taking, responsibility, trustworthiness and sexual abuse.

An important part of the programme involves children identifying their "My 5" - a network of five adults they can talk to if they need help. The programme includes a parents' workshop to give them an overview of the lessons and content prior to their delivery in the classroom.

"Discussing how to recognise when they are scared can help children decide whether a situation is safe, or whether they should try to call a stop to it," said Ms Vannan. "It's essential they know where to seek help and that nothing is too awful or small they can't tell anyone."

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