A week in the life of a Young Person's Practitioner
Our Young Person’s Practitioners are specially trained to support the mental health of children and young people. What do they get up to in a week?
Did you know that, on average, every classroom in Britain has three children with a diagnosable mental health illness? At Action for Children, we’re big on mental health and equipping young people with skills to cope with life.
Want to know how we’re doing this? Meet Leanne and Wendy, two of our Young Person’s Practitioners (or Blues Busters) in Worcestershire. They’re trained to deliver The Blues Programme and support mental health in schools up and down the country.
Find out what a week looks like for them.
It’s the start of a busy week for Leanne and Wendy. They’re getting ready to hold a number of sessions as part of the Blues Programme and Bouncing Back.
Curious as to what these programmes are? Leanne and Wendy give us some insight:
“The Blues Programme is a 6-week programme we deliver in high schools, to young people aged 13-19,” Leanne explained. Wendy continues, “It’s based off CBT – which is cognitive behaviour training – and we look at the connection between thoughts feelings and actions, and how that can impact how we feel.”
“The other programme we deliver is called ‘Bouncing Back’. This is to a younger age group, and it’s all about skills and tools that young people can use to build up their emotional resilience,” added Leanne.
The Blues Programme is making a difference.
Today, Leanne and Wendy are in school, delivering three sessions of the Blues Programme. Each session is one of six in total. They spend an hour with the young people, engaging in group work, discussing their experiences and sharing a range of tools and techniques.
Each session can focus on something different, this week they’re looking at what they can do to transform negative feelings into positive ones.
They also give them activities and tasks to try at home and in-between sessions to help reinforce what they learn in the group sessions. Wendy talks about how keeping mood diaries can help them spot triggers to their negative thoughts.
Halfway through the week and, after their sessions today, Leanne is back in the office. On her to-do list is paperwork and updating the digital case files for the young people they’ve been supporting.
“I’m going through some of the ‘Golden Nuggets’, which is one of the ways we get feedback from some of the young people – about how they found the programme," Leanne explains. “It’s a really nice thing to see. "
Previously I’ve always struggled with stress and anxiety, however Blues has helped me to come up with ways to combat my negative thoughts and feelings so that I feel more positive about myself.Feedback from a young person on The Blues Programme
“There really aren't many projects with young people where you have such an instant impact – a 6-week programme really can make a difference,” Leanne adds.
Our Blues Busters are committed to supporting mental health and getting young people talking. One way they do this is by coming up with new ways to keep the young people engaged. Today, they’re dressing up for a special surprise.
“Another fantastic day-in-the-life of a Blues Practitioner!” Leanne shares. “Today, we’re all superheroes – I’m Captain Reflection. We’re making a video about dressing to impress. We’re showing how you can use what you wear to express yourself – in this case we’ve chosen to dress as colourfully as possible.”
“Today we’re at Droitwich High School! We like to make our sessions as fun as possible, so today we’ve dressed again,” Wendy says
“We’re here for session six of six – finishing off our cohort,” Leanne adds. “This is our favourite session as it’s a chance to get some feedback from the young people about how they found the Blues Programme.”
“I came to the sessions to change the way I think, I came back to the second sessions as the people who took the session, we’re super nice and laid back. And the sessions really helped me to think more positively. I really enjoyed the sessions, and they bring biscuits so that’s a bonus.Young person on the Blues Programme
One in 10 children in the UK experience mental health problems. Our work helps equip young people and their parents with skills to cope with life.
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