Creative Minds is a charity hosted by
South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
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Using creative approaches with young people to engage them in service improvement

Working in partnership with Qdos Creates, CAMHS (Child and Adolescent mental health service) in Barnsley have introduced a series of creative workshops to engage young people in touch with their service in new activities to help them express their personal journeys and goals.

Young people and staff working in the service attended a performance by Qdos Creates of ‘Destination’ which demonstrated the type of activities young people could get involved with and aimed to inspire them to come up with their own options for activities they’d like to take forward.

As part of this project, Qdos Creates run creative workshops on a weekly basis which are open to all those who use the CAMHS service in Barnsley. The sessions are fun and upbeat and engage people in skills based activities such as signing, drama, dance and poetry.

The workshops aim to promote group work, help people to develop their communication skills and build their confidence in their own abilities. It is anticipated that at the end of the 15 week programme of activities, the participants will have developed new skills and confidence to support and sustain their own mental health and wellbeing through creative activity.

During the workshops held so far, young people have had the chance to play different musical instruments, design their own posters to encourage others to join and are creating a film to showcase what happens during the groups.

The creation of the film is led by the children who attend the group. They have written the script, chosen the locations and scenes to be filmed and star in it themselves! Supported by Louise and Cheryl from Qdos as well as staff from the CAMHS team, the children share their views on attending the group, highlighting the worries people may have before they come along for the first time and showcase the fun and creative opportunities that people can get involved with if they do.

There will a break in the workshops over the summer period and they will start again in September.

The CAMHS team in Barnsley are also part of the Children and Young People’s IAPT project, which was launched in 2011. The focus of the pilot is on building a more collaborative relationship between children, young people, families and therapists through frequent outcome monitoring and creating more opportunities for participation in service design and feedback.

The creative workshops run by Qdos Creates as part of this project are also an opportunity for children and young people to share their feedback about the service and contribute to service improvement, therefore meeting the priorities of the IAPT pilot project.

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Creative Minds is a registered charity in England and Wales number: 1055931-13. Registered office: Fieldhead Hospital, Ouchthorpe Lane, Wakefield, WF1 3SP