RIGHT HEREThe role of youth work in supporting young people’s mental health
RIGHT HERE• Introduction to Right Here• The projects: activities; interventions; methods• What works? Youth work with a mental health twist• Right Here Sheffield Case Study – Emma Hinchcliffe, STAMP, and RH Youth Champion
RIGHT HERE: BACKGROUND• 5 year, £6 million programme to change how we look after the mental health and wellbeing of 16 – 25 year olds• initiated and jointly managed by Paul Hamlyn Foundation and the Mental Health Foundation with young people involved from the start• four partnership projects in Brighton, Fermanagh, Newham and Sheffield, led by youth charities• Innovation Labs initiative with Comic Relief and Nominet Trust to develop new digital tools to support young people’s mental health. £600k fund with new projects launched early in 2013.
RIGHT HERE: BACKGROUNDWHY?• One in six young adults aged 16 – 24 has a common mental health disorder• BUT young people lack access to age- appropriate, accessible and acceptable health/mental health services• Young people experiencing emotional distress, or poor mental health want help early on, from people they trust, in non-mental health settings, AND they want a say in the design and delivery of the services intended to meet their needs, to ensure they are right for them.
RIGHT HERE: BACKGROUNDHOW?• Action research approach: proving and improving• Funding and providing non-monetary support to the partnerships around organisational development, influencing and evaluation. National youth champions network takes key findings to national audience.• Findings and effective approaches shared with wider constituency – one of our aims being wider take up of the successful RH approaches.
Right Here: The Projects• Run in four very different areas, each with a specific set of problems.• Common features: high levels of unemployment and lack of suitable or accessible services for young people.• ‘There’s just nothing about mental well-being for this age group in the area.’ (Project staff: Sheffield).• Providing targeted support to young people at risk of developing mh problems – different target groups in each area – and general awareness raising activities to improve knowledge and understanding of mental health.
RIGHT HERE: project activities• Aim: To improve young people’s well- being, resilience, knowledge and awareness of mental health, and tackle stigma.• Third year of delivery; one more to go. Focus in final year on embedding effective practices and influencing local commissioning and services.• One-off and multi-session activities designed and delivered or commissioned by youth workers and young people with input from mental health professionals, such as mh training to delivery staff and volunteers or direct counselling/therapeutic support to beneficiaries• Effective youth work practice, grounded in strong mental health rationale
RIGHT HERE: types of activitiesRecreational: arts, sport and other leisure activities – things thatyoung people tend to enjoy and might do in their spare time. Mayinvolve the learning of a new skill or development of an existing one.Therapeutic activities more directly addressing young people’sproblems, formally through one-to-one or group counselling orinformally through support sessions provided by project staff.Awareness-raising activities to increase young people’s understandingof mental health and well-being, either generally or to give them abetter understanding of their own mental health. Can take the form ofinformation-giving or through training.Participatory activities, facilitating young people’s involvement indesigning, delivering and evaluating the projects’ activities
RIGHT HERE: impacts on young people• Latest evaluation findings show:• Substantial increase in well-being of service users, particularly in social well-being. Participatory focus of projects is a key factor• Positive impact on young people’s resilience• 76% young people surveyed know more about mental health and 75% had a greater understanding of how mental health difficulties affect people’s lives
RIGHT HERE: Brighton and Hove• RH Brighton and Hove delivery partners Sussex Central YMCA & Mind• specialist advice from Boingboing –resilient therapy network and regular mh training to staff and volunteers• wide-ranging programme of one-off and multi-session arts, sport and leisure activities including Music Production course, Grafitti Art, water sports, rock-climbing, and comedy workshops• plus, awareness raising activities, e.g. ‘Where to go for website’, campaigns to improve GP services, and counselling, such as Anger Management (Keep Calm and Carry on) and new ‘Fast Track’ Counselling Service
RIGHT HERE: Brighton and HovePositive outcomes• How young people feel about themselves• “I felt quite disadvantaged. I enjoy singing but had never done it in front of anyone before because I was so shy. But I’ve grown so much as a person because of their support. It’s boosted my confidence’ (YP, Music Production).• What young people do and their social interactions• “One of the most important things for me was coming together in a group – sharing with others…Saying how I was feeling and that someone else cared about the answer” (YP, Keep Calm and Carry on)• Improved understanding and learning about mental health• “The knowledge that everyone gets angry. It’s ok to be angry. It’s how you manage it.” (YP, KCCO)• New skills• “I’ve really thoroughly enjoyed it. Everyone wants it to continue. I’ve learnt so many new skills. It’s better than I thought it would be.’ (YP, Music Production)
Right Here: what works? Effectiveyouth work with a mental health twist• Positive social interaction supports mental health. Staff who ‘get’ young people, enjoy working with them, and can challenge and be challenged are vital to success of RH projects. Staff are able to encourage relationships within groups and provide intensive one to one support as necessary. Relationships between young people formed through RH are making young people feel better about themselves• Voluntary participation/choice leads to a sense of agency. YP can come and go as they please. It’s their choice; they’re not obliged to attend. This means that young people attend because they really want to and puts the onus on them to take responsibility. The onus is on workers to develop programmes that attract yp, or go to the settings where they are
Right Here: what works?• Youth involvement leading to improved confidence and self-esteem. RH model of co- production – yp and adults working and learning together – provides yp with autonomy in deciding what should be done and support needed to carry out specific tasks beyond their expertise. There has to be challenge too.• Experimentation and reflection enhances yp’s and workers personal motivation and learning and can ensure activities meet changing needs of project and the young people involved.
Right Here: what works?Having fun and learning new skills/trying newthings makes young people feel good aboutthemselves and gives them sense of purpose.It’s much easier to recruit young people torecreational activities like rock-climbing, orboxing, than those with explicit mental healthfocus. Mental health by stealth
Right Here: the mental health twist• Ongoing relationships/partnerships with specialist mental health organisations, such as Mind (Brighton and Hove), Harmony Family Centre (Newham), Action Mental Health (Fermanagh), clinicians (all, Sheffield’s staff team includes)• Specialists provide mh training to staff, volunteers and external delivery organisations, one to one or group counselling to yp, clinical supervision, and the mental health framework• Occasional referrals to other in-house counselling services (Sheffield and Brighton)
Right Here Sheffield: Emma Hinchcliffe• Staff and young people working together for better mental health
Right Here: what’s on the horizon?• Projects influencing how services are commissioned – youth involvement – and what’s commissioned: CCGs and Health and Well Being Boards key targets• National dissemination of key evaluation findings via events, publications, existing networks such as Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition, to inform national policy and practice• Major national showcase event 4 February 2013• New digital projects to support yp’s mental health come on stream in January 2013.
Right Here How can we work together to make surevoluntary and statutory young people’s services build on what RH has learned and achieved? www.right-here.org.uk