Guided Self Help in Schools

Guided Self Help. This has been developed by CAMHS. It a 6-week course of 1 hour per week, using the principles of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. CBT is a short term therapy that encourages young people to develop positive ways of thinking and to build up a tool box of strategies to help them feel more in control. It is non-medical early intervention and can be delivered in a school by a youth worker, following training from CAMHS. The aim of the course is to allow young people to help themselves with minimal support from a professional.

Why the contribution is important

There is evidence of the importance of this intervention. A project that has been running since January 2017 in North Berwick High School showed an average drop in anxiety from 22 to 8.5 as measured by the YP Core. Unauthorised absences dropped from 50 one month before the course to 12 two months after. CAHMS referrals dropped from 40 to 28 in 2017. A young person said: 'At the end over half my anxiety had gone and if I do get anxious now I can rid of it easily. I can also get to sleep really quickly now.' A parent said: 'I cannot emphasise enough how invaluable it has been. She is like a different child in terms of dealing with her anxiety.' The School said: 'We have seen great benefits. Young people report improvements in their mood and levels of anxiety and they are confident that they have a set of useful tools to help them manage when they are feeling low.'

by lesleykay on December 12, 2018 at 11:20AM

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  • Posted by nickilawrence December 13, 2018 at 13:37

    Supporting and helping children and young people develop the tools they need to sustain positive mental health is as important as responding to young people in crisis. The current mental health system for our young people is set to kick in only at crisis point.

    Building social and emotional literacy into the curriculum as early as possible would be a great place to start. Our PATHS® programme for primary school children is a social and emotional learning programme which helps children learn how to name their emotions and develop coping strategies for when these emotions and feelings may overwhelm them. The programme also helps children with their relationships and friendships, using concepts like ‘pupil of the day’ and ‘compliments’ to support positive self-esteem and build confidence.

    Many of the mental health problems we are seeing for our young people are around emotional distress; young people becoming overwhelmed by their external environments, social situations; difficult experiences and not knowing where to turn for help. Teaching children from an early age about emotional awareness, how to self-regulate, and the skills to support resilience are essential parts of preventing future problems with their mental health and wellbeing.
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