Northamptonshire pilot site

Northamptonshire's tackling stigma pilot is working closely with young people to develop a number of products that fit with the Tackling Stigma Framework. Approximately 20 young people from diverse backgrounds have come together to form a core group and drive the project. Rather than commission a video production from a professional media company, equipment has been purchased and the young people are creating their own materials with support. They have produced videos, visual art and graffiti and poetry. They have undertaken this work in a range of settings including inpatient units.

The young people will make presentations of their work to local key groups including the media. Young people will be trained to become young leaders and will help introduce the project into schools throughout Northamptonshire. It is intended to establish interest groups within individual schools that will link with the core group.

A website has been created and this will be managed by young people. It will be concerned with stigma and raising awareness of mental health. It is intended that the production of tackling stigma materials will continue as new ideas are developed. A social marketing campaign to raise awareness of mental health will be undertaken and the tacking stigma project will be central to this.

In line with the framework Northamptonshire is developing a commonly agreed definition of mental health and associated language so that young people and professionals across the county have a common agreed language when talking about this issue.

An operational management group has been established that will ensure that the work is embedded in local TaMHS projects as well as the anti-bullying strategy and Healthy Schools. The core group will remain and become a CAMHS partnership young person's group and will continue activity in the area of tackling stigma.

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Case study example: Northamptonshire Wellbeing Wall

Northamptonshire County Council, working in the Children's Rights Division was commissioned by Northamptonshire NHS to develop a participation project around the Tackling Stigma pilot. The aim was to develop a strong group of young people, to empower them to learn about issues around mental health and stigma and to facilitate them to design and deliver activities/materials for fellow children and young people, professionals and parents to educate them about stigma and children and young people’s mental health. Under the information domain, the Northamptonshire pilot was creating a wellbeing wall using graffiti art (amongst other visual methods) to increase knowledge and understanding of mental health and stigma.

The group was advertised through existing children and young people’s networks and groups, as well as through the council’s children and young people’s provision in order to involve different types of young people. The group had members aged 15-24, with some having either direct or indirect experience of mental health issues (an early consultation for the pilot was undertaken specifically with CAMHS service users to inform the development of the project).

In total 15-20 young people were voluntarily engaged in the Tackling Stigma group. They were involved in sessions every two weeks and were aware that the focus was to discuss ways to prevent stigma and help other children and young people to be aware of mental health issues. The wellbeing wall was something that the young people discussed each time they met as a group as an agenda item.

The wellbeing wall is seen as a product that the young people can identify with and is currently located where the group regularly meets. The designing of the wall involved a consultation with a graffiti artist who visited the group on one occasion to teach them graffiti skills and styles with young people. The wall consists of three panels, one featuring the logo and two with images. The long term aim is to use the wellbeing wall as a back drop/package for use with other interventions.

Learn more about the Information for children, families and organisations domain.

For more information please contact:
The CAMHS Commissioner, currently Mike Payne e: .

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