Blue Box Creative Arts Therapy for Children and Young People aims to provide psychotherapy services to vulnerable children, young people and their families in Limerick City.
Founded in 1997, Blue Box is a non-profit organisation that allows children that are socially & economically disadvantaged to take part in innovative art therapy programmes. Their programme allows them to realise their full potential through creative arts therapy and includes research-based, innovative, professional, accredited therapies.
Blue Box supports the well-being & mental health of vulnerable children and young people (3-18 yrs) who are marginalised and traumatised by domestic and environmental factors. The need for these services has increasingly grown and they aim to support children who are vulnerable and require skills to overcome these barriers. This is done through the Creative Arts Psychotherapy model. Blue Box partnered with the HSE, Mental Health Services, TUSLA, Youth Services and Schools/Education services to help those in the Limerick Community and address these mental health issues by developing therapeutic interventions for vulnerable children. These programmes aim to provide a service that’s available, affordable and accessible.
They work with traumatised children & their families to create a healthier, more pro-active participation in their own lives, schools, communities and society. Blue Box is the only charity that provides free support and therapy services to children and young people in Limerick requested by schools, social workers, HSE, CAMHS, TUSLA, community organisations and local families. They provide services to over 16 secondary and primary schools and 4 preschools in Limerick. Blue Box also offers on-site services and outreach services to community organisations and local families.
Blue Box supported over 455 children and their families in 2017/18 by delivering over 3,000 hours of service. With the increase in demand for these services, Blue Box has received many new referrals from schools and communities but they’re unable to serve these requests as the workload has reached its capacity. As they are the only professional in-house therapy that also provides services to schools, Blue Box is an essential service that benefits children’s educational, social, emotional and behavioural needs.
As children may struggle to express their feelings, emotions and experiences, creative therapy used by Blue Box includes music, dance, play and visual art which allows children to express their feelings, within professional boundaries. Blue Box believes that with every dynamic system, each child can move towards self-fulfilment.
The services provided involve child psychotherapy by using arts as a form of therapy because play and movement are the first languages of a child. When a child comes to Blue Box, there are many toys and interactive games in the therapy room as a way of offering support.
CEO of Blue Box, Bernadette Kenny says
“In the first few sessions they may flit from one thing to another and then they start working in the sand tray, or in music, painting or clay, in a certain way that starts to go deeper into an expression of what needs to come out,” “They can make more sense of their experiences and situation and get support from their therapist.”