This October The Worrinots have a lot to shout about.  Firstly we have been shortlisted for the UK App Awards 2018.  We won Children’s & Education App of the year 2017 and hope to make it to the top again. 

More importantly we are sharing news of our collaboration with a very important charity in Scotland, Brothers in Arms, a male suicide prevention charity.  If you’re probably wondering why this type of charity is interested in us when our app is targeting primary school age children, keep reading. 

During June 2018 The Worrinots office received an email from Dan Proverbs, founder of the charity.  He was looking for ‘something’ for children to be able to engage with when there was some kind of ‘issue’ going on, either in the family where there will be a direct impact on the child, or with the child directly.  He was specifically looking to target the under 13 age group too, he wanted something the children could turn to and encourage them to be able to speak out.  There are lots of apps, but nothing appropriate or specific for them.  Dan, more than anyone else, knows the importance of this. 

Having spent considerable time having conversations with Dan now, he has openly shared his story of his personal journey that led him to starting Brothers in Arms.  As a child Dan didn’t know his own father, this let him to have a somewhat traumatic childhood and engage in risky behaviour. 

Stories like Dan’s is only one of the reasons The Worrinots exists, fortunately technology is available now to assist children who are experiencing the same childhood feelings Dan had.  Our aim is to prevent children reaching crisis point later in life. 

Dan tried to take his own life about 18 years ago, however it was at the time of the birth of his first daughter that he found himself at a fork in the road.  He knew he needed to seek help, he’d always been a person who never took medication but knew he needed to talk to someone.  Eventually Dan went for therapy, he found talking really helped, it also helped him come to terms with his childhood issues too. 

It’s important to educate children in their primary years about their feelings and emotions and allow them to learn the language associated with them and learn life-long coping mechanisms.  It’s well documented now that if children have unresolved issues by the age of 14, they become deep rooted and much more difficult to manage. 

Giving up his career in Management, Dan decided to do something positive and studied to be a counsellor for men.  He joined SeeMe and put forward the idea of a mental health project for men in Scotland.  Dan tells us ‘There are plenty of other projects out there in England and Wales, men in Scotland deserve the same,’ Dan now has the very first charity dedicated to men in Scotland. 

Although the charity works to target the male population Dan informed us ‘men still find it difficult to talk, around 80% of the fundraising is carried out by women as well as raising awareness of the project.  Maybe because women are the ones dealing with the issues. ’ 

Dan knew how difficult it was for men to be able to speak out and wanted something for them they could turn to.  Although he knows the internet can have its negatives, he also knows it is there for the good, after a long search he came across a couple of apps to help them.  

The Worrinots know that, Like Dan, children also find it hard to be able to speak out, share what’s on their mind and seek help.  We knew children needed something to encourage this behaviour and help reduce the worrying number of children finding themselves in desperate situations at such young ages. 

Brothers in Arms started receiving calls from mothers of 9 year old boys, asking for help for their suicidal children.  So he then continued his internet search looking for something that would help children affected by this issue and encourage them to be able to speak out.  Worrinots was the only solution he came across.  This is when we received our email from Dan asking how we can work together. 

It’s always lovely to have a conversation with Dan, his passion for the Brothers in Arms project always comes through, he tells me he still sees his counsellor every couple of years, a bit like a mental health MOT.  Dan is now confident to speak out about his experience and realised ‘The timing is now perfect to do it, we didn’t have anything like this in Scotland, we should be able to reproduce here in Scotland what everyone else has.’  At The Worrinots, we also know the time is right to be putting measure in place for young children, our joining of forces will be a powerful move for children in Scotland. 

It’s important to consider the well-being of children in any family crisis, regardless of who it is directly going through personal issues, there is always a wider impact on the family.  No matter how much we try to protect our children from the issues, they are able to see and feel the effects of any change that is happening. 

With Brothers in Arms and The Worrinots coming together we aim to help as many children in Scotland be a success, Dan says ‘ For me, it was taking the transition from being a victim to being a survivor, I will have good days and I will have bad days, it took be a long time to accept that it was a disability.’ This is Dan’s driving force, he doesn’t want other men to go through it.  

Brothers in Arms and The Worrinots will work to reach as many children in Scotland to achieve our shared aim.

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