This therapeutic story focuses on low mood associated with bereavement. Sam feels low and fed up, but doesn't understand why he feels this way. Everyone else has an opinion on the change in his behaviour. His teacher thinks he is being lazy and can't be bothered to finish his work, his mum thinks he is moody and bad tempered, his friends think he is no fun any more and turning into a bore. Comments like, 'Cheer up it might never happen', ' What has got into you?' and 'Do you want to talk about it?' just upset him even more. He doesn't know what the 'it' is, that is making him feel this way. He didn't even feel this bad when his cousin died a year ago! When he is kept behind in class for not completing his work he tells the teacher how confused and sad he feels.
Connections are made between his feelings and the looming anniversary of his cousin's death. Sam is helped to understand that thoughts and feelings associated with bereavement can come and go for a long time, and can cause strong emotions. He is shown how to notice and share his feelings and to think about things he can do when he feels this way. He makes a memory box so he can also remember all the happy things about his cousin. In the 'Let's talk about sadness and loss' section, feelings associated with bereavement and helpful coping strategies are shared.
Paula Nagel has worked as an educational psychologist for 17 years. This has included working as a Lead Professional Educational Psychologist managing a traded service, as well as holding Senior Specialist posts for early years and disability. Over the years Paula has worked in multi-agency teams within paediatric services, youth offending teams, Sure Start and an anti-bullying service. She is currently Principal Educational Psychologist (North) for the national children's mental health charity, Place2Be. Before qualifying as an Educational Psychologist Paula was a primary school teacher.
Gary Bainbridge is an artist, comics creator and secondary school Art, Photography and Media Studies teacher from Durham. He's best known for the North East based kitchen sink superhero comic Sugar Glider and the Newcastle-set crime fiction comic, Nightbus. Gary teaches at an academy in Northumberland.