Skip to main content

Table 1 Brief descriptions of core workshop activities

From: Young people, mental health practitioners and researchers co-produce a Transition Preparation Programme to improve outcomes and experience for young people leaving Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)

Activity Aim/s Practice
Transition mapping: what can we learn from previous transitions? To learn from previous transitions (default = primary-secondary school). In pairs/small groups young people identify other transitions in life: what preparation was offered? What worked/didn’t work, why? How did you feel? What was left out? On large sheets of paper young people map the processes in their chosen format (mind-map, diagram, list, poster). Feedback to whole group, sheets posted on walls. SD: what was useful/not useful and why, what translates to CAMHS transition.
Body mapping/character creation. (A life-sized outline of a person produced by drawing around a volunteer, given name and full back story based on experience.) To co-create a character to represent the experiences of the group; to provide a means for discussion of personal experiences from a safe distance. In small groups or pairs young people created characters facing transition, which grew to reflect the joint experiences of the group. A variety of coloured post-it notes denoted particular themes, e.g. questions, decisions, worries, life events, mental health problems. Characters represent pooled group experiences. SD: sub-groups/pairs fed back to the main group describing the characters’ lives and experiences. and characters were referred to regularly throughout and ‘imagined’ in specific situations under discussion. Clinicians also created characters.
Socks game: group juggling Metaphor to illustrate the multiple demands of teenage life: prioritising, juggling, coping, dealing with conflicting demands, feelings, react to surprises. Led by the workshop facilitator, ‘socks’ is a whole group game involving a repeating circuit of throwing and catching of increasing numbers of balls of socks (could be anything soft), until a crescendo of near-chaos is reached, when the facilitator gradually slows the pace and restores calm. SD: built from initial reactions and responses ‘how did it feel when you had lots of socks coming at you at once?’ into a wider discussion about real-life juggling of demands/pressures/events (as represented by the socks) of adolescence, responsibilities and coping strategies. Sometimes though, by request, the game was played purely for fun. Clinicians also played ‘socks’.
Anti-model: produce poster/leaflet for ‘worst’ mental health service To stimulate thought and generate discussion on what makes a gold standard mental health service. Small groups/pairs designed a poster/leaflet advertising the ‘worst’ mental health service. They played with exaggeration, cartoon, jokes, puns. FB to whole group, display work. SD: by discussing the anti-model, aspects of a gold standard model emerge.
Lego communication game To stimulate discussion about talking about difficult things: finding the right words, responsibilities of listener and speaker, assumptions, reading between the lines. In pairs young people sit back-to-back. Person A is given an abstract lego model and B a large pack of lego bricks including the pieces necessary to replicate the model. A instructs B who tries to reproduce the model. Swap. SD: finding the right words, accuracy, difficulties, responsibilities, broadened to the difficulties expressing feelings/emotions, talking to a therapist, parent, saying what you mean, asking for help.
  1. FB feedback, SD scaffolded discussion