A few people have asked about the workshop I ran with Young Adult Carers at the weekend after a shared a sneak peek on Twitter.
It was part of a 2 day residential for young adult carers organised by the superb Jen Kenward and NHS England team.
The aim of my session was to support carers both in thinking about how to promote their own wellbeing, and also to help me to author a resource to help promote positive mental health in other young people.
It was a very simple activity where we worked through the key elements of a Wellbeing Action Plan. So we considered:
• What makes us happy / keeps us well?
• What should we try to do or avoid each day to keep us well?
• What triggers and challenges might we face?
• What signs might alert us that we, or a friend, need extra support?
• What should be our next steps?
I printed each focus, with a few prompts, and put it in the middle of large flipchart paper. We broke into groups and had a few minutes to work on each question in turn. Once ideas were running less thick and fast, everyone had a chance to look at the other groups’ work and to highlight or tick the ideas they especially liked. We shared the very best ideas back as a group.
We continued this process as a group until we’d done all of the questions.
At the end, we discussed how to ask for help, and I send everyone a way with a flyer highlighting sources of support and how to have the first conversation at difficult times. I also gave everyone the chance to leave final thoughts, questions, opinions or ideas in Margo the Worry Monster anonymously.
Feedback was positive and I look forward to creating a wellness action plan booklet for completion by young people, bursting with ideas from this group. In the resource, I’ll highlight those ideas which were indicated by young people as the best (with ticks or highlighting).
I hope this simple task enabled the young adult carers to consider both their own wellbeing and to pick up some ideas and will have the added bonus of leading to a resource that feels genuine and relevant.