South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust is delighted to have been shortlisted for an award in this year’s National Children and Young People’s Mental Health Positive Practice Awards.
The Trust has been shortlisted in the Partnership Working/ Co-Production Category for the Debating Mental Health project, which ran November 16-April 17.
The project, devised by SWLSTG CAMHS Participation Officer, Laura Tyrrell, was a partnership with the English-Speaking Union, the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families and the London and South East CYPIAPT Learning collaborative and came about as a result of conversations with young people who said that mental health services are getting quite good at offering young people opportunities to be heard, but not so good at equipping them with the skills they felt they needed to access those opportunities and make the most of them. They decided that they wanted to improve skills including organisation, public speaking, persuasive speaking and were fully involved in the direction of the programme
The project, which ran over a 12-week period, saw more than 60 young people from eight different services trained in debate skills.
After the training period, the young people came together at Facebook’s UKHQ to debate key mental health topics (voted for by them), to showcase what they had learnt and to talk to key decision makers in CYP Mental Health.
Young people from Wandsworth, Sutton, Merton and Richmond were involved. The winners of the final debate were from Merton and a young person from Sutton was awarded ‘Best Speaker’ at the end of the debate
David Bradley, SWLSTG Chief Executive said:
“We are very proud to see the hard work, compassion and innovative practice of our staff recognised in this way. This initiative represents a new approach in engaging with young people. As well as teaching young people vital communication skills, we believe this programme boosts self-confidence as well as sending a positive message that young people do have a voice.”
The Positive Practice awards celebrate and share positive practice from across England, with NHS, Local Authority, Care Commissioning Groups, and third sector organisations all being highlighted for their work.