When pupils, parents, schools and practitioners work together at The Soke.

the soke
Interior Design by Covet & Noir (covetnoir.com). Photography by Taran Wilkhu (taranwilkhu.com).

When we launched The Soke – a private mental health centre – in October of 2020, we did so with a single child and adolescent practitioner. Today, our Child & Adolescent team of one has grown to 15 (two thirds of our clinical team), and we continue to recruit almost monthly in our efforts to keep up with the demand. 

At the start of this year, and responding to the needs of schools, we launched Soke Education, a service dedicated exclusively to the mental health needs of pupils, teachers and parents. Today, we’re working with some of the leading independent schools in London equipping and training them to confidently respond to the range of issues that pupils are presenting with, and in the process helping them to develop a better understanding of what exactly is going on in their school. This enables them to make strategic plans to mitigate the problems that appear to be rife among not just their student population, but a vast number of children and adolescents today. 

While it’s not true to suggest that the pandemic is the only reason that the mental fitness of children and adolescents has deteriorated, it’s clear that as our education system has attempted to normalise to its pre-pandemic status, there hasn’t been a corresponding return to the old levels of psychological need. Teachers and other staff are now having to cope with much higher school refusal, disruption in class and health absence – all the while having to contend with the psychological fallout of their own Covid experience and no time to recover from the impact of lockdown on our education system as a whole.

Alongside this, we’ve seen a mirrored rise in adult mental health needs, leaving a significant population of children living with parents that have degraded wellness, often precipitating their own mental health degradation, or at least leaving them with reduced learning capacity.

What is encouraging, amid what appears to be gloom, is that our culture has taken a dramatic turn towards realising the impact of mental health on our overall wellbeing and towards understanding the importance of starting psychological education early. We can begin to hope that future generations will feel more resilient to circumstantial challenges, know how to mitigate setbacks, and continue to build on their strengths without the need to turn a blind eye to their vulnerabilities.

The Soke is at 241 Fulham Road, London SW3 6HY. 020 7139 5051
[email protected]



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