Neurodivergent Families Wellbeing

Are you a Neurodivergent family or a parent / caregiver of a Neurodivergent young person in York and surrounding areas, who’s diagnosed, awaiting assessment or displays signs of neurodivergence?

Would you benefit from time for yourself in nature, a nurturing safe space facilitated by a qualified wellbeing coach, the support and validation of a local community?

This project is funded by York CVS Ways To Wellbeing and free of charge to families

What’s on Offer?

Outdoor wellbeing workshops

Wellbeing Walks for Parents

Fortnightly Wellbeing Walks for parents – an opportunity to meet and connect with others while exercising in nature, plus the input of a coach offering wellbeing topics for reflection and supported discussion.

Mind Garden York online workshop

Online Community Drop-in Session

Fortnightly Online Community drop-in sessions, facilitated by a wellbeing coach – an opportunity to receive further support, be listened to, and build community support
nurturing wellbeing

One-to-one coaching

Individual coaching sessions will be offered on a raffle basis. This is an opportunity to receive personalised support and guidance, get signposted to appropriate resources, and develop strategies for improving your family’s wellbeing. Most importantly this is a safe space for you to take time for yourself and be listened to with understanding and compassion.


Mind Garden York online workshop

Online Community Group

A private online group on Facebook where information can be shared on the schedule of events but also a place where we can build community, support each other, and create lasting connections.

Our Why?


Mind Garden York CIC was created with the mission to nurture the mental wellbeing of young people and families. The work we do has naturally evolved and branched into supporting neurodivergent young people and their parents. 

As a mum of neurodivergent children, I know how difficult and isolating it can be to not only navigate daily life but also advocate for your children in education and other mainstream services.

Neurodivergent families currently do not receive enough support, in fact some are faced with gaslighting and parent blaming by mainstream servcies. Waiting lists for assessments are long, which leaves families struggling in isolation. The ability to attend school and other activities is harder for neurodivergent young people due to lack of accommodations and increased social anxiety amongst many other factors. This impacts negatively on the whole family.

Through first hand experience I understand that validating and accommodating of the authentic neurodivergent experience of the child and/or the parent is vital to the whole family’s wellbeing. This is why I wanted to create a safe space for parents/carers of neurodivergent children to get respite, to take time for themselves, while sharing their challenges with parents in a similar situation, in order to reduce the feeling of loneliness and isolation and encourage lasting connections and community.

Nature heals, soothes and restores


We offer wellbeing walks because the positive effects of spending time in nature are scientifically proven. Studies have proven that time in nature or even just viewing nature scenes improves our mood and increases our ability to pay attention. Because humans find nature inherently interesting, we can naturally focus on what we are experiencing. This provides a respite for our overactive minds, restoring our natural sense of calm and balance.

Exposure to nature not only makes us feel better emotionally, but it also contributes to our physical wellbeing, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones. 


This project is funded by York CVS Ways To Wellbeing and free of charge to families

I thought that the Wellbeing Course was amazing.
Mariella made it really fun. It was nice meeting new people
The course can help you with anger management, it helps you to see yourself and things differently.
It gives you another way to see and live life.
I wish the course wasn’t ending.

11 years old Johannesburg, South Africa

Mariella thank you so much for the time and effort that you have put into teaching the children the course. My son looked forward to every lesson.
The awareness really helps them to recognise that innate balance, that is already there inside them.
I only wish my older boys had had the same opportunity.
Thank you again!

Mum of 11 year old

As it’s mental health awareness week I wanted to highlight the services of Mind Garden York CIC. During lockdown Z had loads of anxiety and was not flourishing. We did a web-based  course with Mariella O’Brien and she is calmer, more regulated and flourishing. Our little ones need support too.


Mum of 9 year old

Safeguarding and Health and Safety

The safety and wellbeing of the families and young people I work with are my utmost priority.

I am DBS checked and have undertaken NSPCC Safeguarding training. Health and Safety risk assessments are also carried out.

Come and say hi on Social…