Mind and Body Programme
Mind and Body is an innovative programme for young people who self harm, or are deemed vulnerable to self harming behaviours. The Mind and Body programme is mainly run within secondary schools, and participants benefit from a series of interactive group sessions which 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
"The identification of the students was surprising. It pulled out students who I would never have come across. They would never have got support. It was a real eye opener."Pastoral Manager at a Lancashire Secondary School
The Mind and Body programme has been independently evaluated by The Training Effect and the University of Bath using a mixture of quantitative and qualitative approaches. Data were collected from 299 young people before and after they had completed the Mind and Body programme. In addition, 30 professionals from various stakeholders participated in the focus groups.
“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."
Publications which feature the Mind and Body Programme:
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)
Blogs and news articles
16/09/2016 Mind and Body programme begins in Lancashire
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.