Back in March, the lovely Grace Latter tweeted out about an amazing company called Eggtooth which just screamed me! It would have been great if there had been something like this when I was at school because suffering with mental health at school is not a lot of fun.
Eggtoth are “a brilliantly innovative and creative counselling organisation who don’t just help people of all ages (but particularly the young’uns) with their mental health, but also with employment opportunities and nurturing their creativity.” (Thanks Grace for this beautiful explanation!)
The two directors of Eggtooth, Sally and Laura, were kind enough to let me send them questions and anyone who lets me ask has to be great, right? Haha.
1. Where did the name ‘Eggtooth come from? It sounds amazing and creepy at the same time!
An Eggtooth develops whilst the chick is within the egg and is primarily used to help the chick break into the air sac within the egg. Egg shells are porous and allow the movement of oxygen into an egg but towards the end of the incubation period this flow of air is insufficient for the chick to ‘breathe’. The chick, using its egg tooth, will then break through the membrane of the egg and into the air sac where sufficient oxygen can be found. It is then that the chick will use the egg tooth to break out of the shell, known as pipping. After a little while it falls off as it’s not needed anymore.
2. I read that you trained to be an actor at Rose Bruford (that’s the dream for me!). Did your training give you any insights into mental health and to the people who needed help?
I loved Rose Bruford it was an amazing 3 years and the main thing I learnt was resilience, resourcefulness and adaptability. A lot of the drama students were fragile and it’s been really interesting to see who has stayed with an acting career and who decided to change tack and do something different. I was there from 1990 -1993!
3. What has been the response to Eggtooth’s influence in schools?
Back in 2012 it took an innovative school to take us on. It was the senior leaders that really appreciated there were some serious needs of students that were not being met and they knew it would take a very different approach to address those needs. Fast forward 7 years and it’s only fairly recently that creative therapeutic approaches are now taken seriously.
4. What more do you think schools could be doing to help those students with mental health?
I think schools do so much already. Or at least are given responsibility for so much. I think recently it was put forward by government that schools and the NHS should be doing more to prevent knife crime.
Unless you work directly for a school, it’s very difficult to appreciate how challenging it can be. When emphasis is put on targets and data as opposed to relationships, there will always be limitations to how effective a school can be. It takes courage to put the emphasis on the relationships with students as the most important aspect of education because this may have an impact on exam data!
5. Grace mentioned that you were nominated for the National Lottery’s People’s Project! Congrats! Why do you think people should vote for Eggtooth?
Yes we’ve been nominated for the People’s Project!
There is absolutely nothing like The Egg – it’s a fully funded therapeutic offer and the client can choose their therapy – we have a Art, Music, animal assisted and soon drama and outdoor therapy available – we also provide a travel buddy if needed who will transport them to and from their therapy appointment- same buddy for the whole time they are in therapy.
6. Is there anything else you’d like to say to the readers of my little blog?
We are 7 years old now and feel that our work is finally getting noticed
We also have a beautiful and supportive arts mentoring project called Incubate and at the mo we have around 50+ musicians that are all emerging artists and some have had access to mentoring by professional musicians.
Next step is Hatch – a stunning restaurant with top training opportunities for young chefs, front of house and business trainees.
Thank you so much to the ladies of Eggtooth for being so lovely and answering my questions! If you have time, please go and vote for them at The People’s Project and check out their different social media: Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!
Do you think there should be more of an effort to teach students more about mental health?