This article by Rick Bradley and Chloe Still introduces the ‘Mind and Body’ programme and provides statistics demonstrating its effectiveness as well as highlighting what further help could be offered alongside it.
It states that “‘Mind and Body’ is a multi-component programme for young people who are involved in, or vulnerable to, self-harming behaviours. The focus is on exploring thoughts and actions in relation to emotional wellbeing, but also aims to provide participants with strategies to reduce other risk-taking behaviours, such as drug and alcohol use, unplanned or unprotected sex and offending.”
The programme uses Timeline Follow-Back (TFB)and WEMWBS (Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale) to assess participants’ behaviours and feelings in relation to self-harm and their own wellbeing.
In the WEMWBS, “where participants score themselves between 1 and 5 in terms of their current mental wellbeing”, results show “an upward trend as the programme progresses.” Likewise, the TFB found a decrease in self-harming thoughts and behaviours.
Bradley and Still state that “The therapeutic group work element was key in encouraging and promoting attitudinal and behavioural change” and the feedback about the group sessions was positive.
Some recommendations it makes are as follows:
- “more information and support needs to be available to young people in relation to healthy lifestyles, nutrition and body image”
- “Specialist training should be available to help school staff and other relevant mentors better understand self-harm and how to support young people affected by this issue”
- “As the quality of life of young people increases, it can be hoped that there will be a corresponding benefit to wider services in terms of reduced referrals to GPs and specialist mental health services, as well as potentially fewer admissions to Accident and Emergency departments”
This article was published in the recent edition of Education and Health published by SHEU.