Mind and Body Programme

Mind and Body is an innovative programme for young people who are involved in or deemed vulnerable to self harming behaviours. Mainly run within secondary schools, participants benefit from a series of interactive group sessions that encourage open discussion about mental health and related issues.

These groups are a safe place to talk about topics which are often stigmatised. Talking through these issues helps reduce feelings of isolation and allows individuals to explore more positive ways of managing their thoughts and behaviours.

The programme aims to support young people who do not meet the thresholds of specialist mental health services but who would benefit from more support than can be offered by universal providers.

"Mind and Body is a pretty revolutionary programme. Practitioners help to enable young people to talk about mental health and work together. They also specifically teach healthy coping skills and emotional regulation."

"It's a programme that I'm kind of a big fan of. The practitioners are all really great people who I've got huge respect for ... It seems that Mind and Body is having a real impact."

Dr Pooky Knightsmith - Vice Chair of the Children and Young People's Mental Health Coalition

Mind and Body is currently commissioned across Cornwall, Kent and Lancashire. The Kent service also offers groups run in community settings in conjunction with CAMHS, GPs and Early Help teams. It also has a family work provision, offering guidance and support to parents and carers around this topic.

An independent evaluation of the programme by the University of Bath is due for release in Spring 2017. Initial outcomes have been promising, showing reductions in participants' self harming thoughts and actions with corresponding improvements in their mental wellbeing and other prosocial behaviours.

For more information on the programme please contact us at MAB@addaction.org.uk or follow us on Twitter at @_MindandBody


Publications which feature the Mind and Body Programme:

Article in the Education and Health journal (pdf) 

Mentor ADEPIS: Preventing Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Substance Use Problems Alcohol and Drug Prevention (pdf) October 2016

Public Health England: Measuring and monitoring children and young people’s mental wellbeing: A toolkit for schools and colleges (pdf)


Case studies

“Before I joined the Addaction service, I was a lost teenager who felt I didn’t have much control over my life and emotions. As a result of this I was self-harming. I felt as though it was my only way of getting some kind of relief. It was if I became dependent on it. I was convinced that I was coping but now I see that was not the case."   

Read Emily's story here


Blogs and news articles

01/03/2017 - Using creative interventions to support young people's mental health

26/10/2016  Early intervention for young people at risk of self-harm

10/11/2016 Children’s Commissioner for England visits us in Lancashire

09/12/2016 Young people's data highlights the need for more mental health support

14/11/2016 ‘Eye-opening’ work by self-harm project as almost third of students have considered hurting themselves

16/09/2016 Mind and Body programme begins in Lancashire

14/07/2016 Mind and Body Programme - initial findings into self-harm

11/04/2016 Get behind our young people and stop the sniping