Rick Bradley is Operations Manager of Mind and Body, one of our Young Person’s Services. This blog post was originally published on Dr Pooky Knightsmith's website.
I’m in the fortunate position of overseeing the delivery of ‘Mind and Body’, an early intervention programme commissioned to support young people involved in, or vulnerable to self harming behaviours. ‘Mind and Body’ – which is currently being delivered by Addaction in Kent, Cornwall and Lancashire – combines small therapeutic group sessions with one-to-one meetings, allowing participants to explore the topic of mental health (and more specifically self harming behaviours).
Find out more about Mind and Body here.
Young people are selected for participation through an online survey designed to identify those most likely to benefit from the programme, following a talk from our practitioners to their year group in school. Respondents are asked a total of 27 questions about perceptions of self harm, their own wellbeing and broader aspects of their lives. Neither school staff nor parents will find out what the young people have answered in the survey.
We are only a few months into the programme but already we have data from more than 1500 young people. The results are somewhat of a worry.
More than one third of those who have taken part in this survey disclosed that they have recently thought about harming themselves. Of these, 64% identified themselves as feeling depressed for six or more days in the past month.
Whilst the difficulties of transition from childhood to adolescence and beyond are well documented, these figures have still been a source of surprise and concern.