Today, October 10th, join us as we observe world mental health day. At Clowns Without Borders, we care for children and families affected by conflict, displacement, and hardship. Almost all people affected by these emergencies will experience phycological distress, as violence, loss, separation, and uncertainty impact many. Ensuring mental health responses and psychosocial support in emergencies is necessary in helping people deal with trauma and distress.
Our playful performances and joyful, trauma-sensitive workshops, help children build the resilience they need and to start resolving their traumatic experiences.
Through play and laughter, we offer the children a safe place to have fun and engage with others. There are many research-based benefits of laughter. It can add joy to life, improve one’s mood, relaxes the body and strengthens resilience. These benefits last even after the laughter is gone, offering focus and hope. A strong medicine, play and laughter helps.
As well as children, the work of Clowns Without Borders also impacts parents and caregivers. Seeing a child laugh and with joy on their faces is a welcome sight for all loved ones. It is a lovely normal response that supplies parents with hope and a glimpse at the road to healing. As one mother, during our tour in Romania explained,
“Some days I feel so bad I don’t feel like doing anything, but then I look at my daughter and I push myself to do something. Events like this are so bright and fun and we see the children so happy. This is so important for us. We are really grateful.”
What we do matters, both to the child’s mental health and to their loved ones.
With the continuing Ukrainian crisis, the need for mental health awareness and support remains high. Alongside Clowns Without Borders Sweden, we work in the host countries. Having already visited Germany and Romania last month, our clowns are currently on tour in Poland and Moldova. This marks the first half of Project Laughter, which focusing on sharing laughter and play with children affected by the Ukrainian conflict. From fun in the sun to art in the park, giggles in a game-room to congas on the concrete – we continue to have a magical time with children.
Mental health recovery takes time. To continue the process, we work at building the capacity of staff and volunteers locally, exchanging skills, ideas, and knowledge to keep the fun and laughter going. This is integral to the sustainability of the project.
On this World Mental Health Day, we acknowledge the need to care for our own and each other’s mental health. At Clowns Without Borders, we share with all a smile, a laugh, and a helping hand.
Please support us as we continue to share laughter and play with children affected by the Ukraine crisis by donating here: <Support us here>