How Kelly is improving children's mental health

Graduate Kelly Truscott is improving children’s mental health by working for a charity that operates in UK schools. Kelly first worked for the charity, Place2Be, as one of her placements while studying for her MA in Dance Movement Psychotherapy.

From placement to employment

Kelly had jumped at the opportunity to work for Place2Be after graduating, having enjoyed the opportunities during her placement with the charity. She is now Assistant School Project Manager at an all-girls school, supporting girls and young women who have mental health issues.

She uses the skills and techniques she learnt on her MA, working with them on a one-to-one basis or in groups. Place2Be provides counselling, mental health support and training and Kelly’s integrative approach fuses movement, talking and play therapy.

Range of tools

Kelly always knew that a nine-to-five, office-based job wasn’t for her and likes the variety that her role brings. “No two days are ever the same,” she says. “I really love variety and like every day to be different. This course allowed for that and equipped me with a range of tools which I can use to help others.”

She is optimistic for the future and is looking forward to the growth and recognition of dance movement psychotherapy. Our MA taught her not only to use dance, but movement as a whole, to allow people to fully express themselves.

“It’s innate to express yourself,” she explains. “Babies and very young children have no inhibitions and use movement to express themselves freely and naturally. I like to use my skills to bring this out in older children and adults, allowing them to express themselves through movement without judgement or prejudice.”

Body and mind

Kelly has always been interested in dance and performance and holds several qualifications relating to dance, drama and music. Our MA in Dance Movement Psychotherapy allowed her to take her passion for these art forms and learn how to use this for the good of others.

She found the programme’s compulsory personal therapy really important. “It’s really important to understand and be aware of your own body and mind in order to help others to become aware of their movements and mental health.”

Important role

With mental health being increasingly talked about and high on the public health agenda, Kelly believes there’s no better time to train to support people through their difficulties.

She says: “I believe there is a global mental health crisis and dance movement psychotherapy is going to have an important role to play in the future health of our children.”