Mayor plays hopscotch to highlight message about abuse

SERIOUS PLAY: Mayor Paul Pisasale, Emmy the Act for Kids mascot and Kay McGrath have a go at a game of hopscotch.
SERIOUS PLAY: Mayor Paul Pisasale, Emmy the Act for Kids mascot and Kay McGrath have a go at a game of hopscotch. Contributed

IPSWICH Mayor Paul Pisasale has taken part in a light-hearted game to highlight the very serious problem of child abuse.

The Mayor played a game of hopscotch on Sunday with Act for Kids Ambassador Kay McGrath who congratulated him on his recent appointment as an Act for Kids Ambassador.

The game ran all weekend to highlight the work of Act for Kids, a charity providing services to prevent and treat child abuse and neglect. Act for Kids offers intensive therapy for children who have experienced abuse and a range of preventative, support services for vulnerable families at risk.

Act for Kids psychologist Annika Moody said unfortunately there were no quick fixes.

"Most of the kids we work with will spend between six and 18 months in intensive therapy - true healing takes time," Ms Moody said. "Our team of psychologists, speech therapists and occupational therapists use art and play therapy to help little kids overcome their experiences and reclaim their childhoods."

She said the effects of child abuse and neglect could be significant and lead to lifelong problems, impact a child's brain development, how they feel and think about themselves, how successful they are at school, even their physical development and skills.

"In the long term it can lead to drug and alcohol abuse, mental illness, difficulty developing and maintaining good relationships, unemployment and all sorts of social disadvantage - all due to their childhood experiences, and not their fault," she said.

The hopscotch game played at Southbank in Brisbane was part of a campaign to raise awareness of Act for Kids' work and how long and hard the team, and kids, work to overcome the impacts of child abuse and neglect.

To find out more about Act for Kids visit actforkids.com.au.



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