The Maya Angelou Centre, also known as the MAC, provides a wide range of support services for our students, offering them the opportunity to engage with our in-house counsellors, therapists, engagement mentors and other specialists in social, emotional and mental health, as well as external partners and professionals from the Local Authority and elsewhere. The MAC is a place that allows students to have a safe space to talk, acknowledge their concerns, build resilience and promote student wellbeing – this being at the heart of what we hope to accomplish.
The driving force in the MAC is to respond to and meet the needs of our students, providing them with a nurturing space to develop the tools, skills and strategies to enable them to not only access the academic and pastoral curriculum but to also thrive within the school and the wider community, meeting their personal potential and their individual aspirations
All students can also access the MAC during their lunch break if they are looking for a quiet place. This is somewhere they can read, play board games, be creative, revise, do homework or just sit with a friend and chat. They can also access staff from the MAC if they should need to.
The Maya Angelou Centre also offers support for Staff on how best to work with our students, offering strategies and in class observations.
The students we are seeing are those who are being challenged by general anxiety, those who have struggled settling back into school after Covid, students who need help learning to self-regulate and those whose behaviour has been a concern
How can counselling help?
When a child sits down with their counsellor and begins to talk about their feelings and problems, it can be the beginning of a journey that can bring about meaningful change in their life.
Opening up can feel scary. Seeing a counsellor is a brave step in moving towards improved wellbeing. The counsellor provides a safe, non-judgemental and confidential space where it can be possible to be curious and make sense of difficulties existing for the child or young person. Here, the individual can make choices about what he or she wants to bring and discuss in this time. This act in itself is important for supporting the emergence of autonomy and developing a stronger sense of self. Children and young people can express themselves with words, or with art making which when shared and witnessed by the therapist allows the individual to be seen, heard and understood.
The therapy journey isn’t linear, it has many twists and turns, all of which are very important to personal growth.