The ‘Mind Your Head’ programme begins with an introduction session followed by five sessions which explore different topics in relation to mental health. Session seven ties together the work of the previous sessions and facilitates the group to create something (for example posters) that will highlight mental health issues or promote
good mental health to their peers. This is followed by evaluations from the young people that took part in the programme.
It is designed as a programme of workshops to be used in sequence as a whole or, in individual parts as needed or required. Each workshop is divided into parts and each activity is timed. Obviously these timings act as guidelines as each group will vary. Some of the topics could be extended over a period of weeks depending on the
response and needs of the group. Many of the activities/exercises can be found in the appendices at the back of this resource. From our experience of running the ‘Mind Your Head’ programme with a number of
different groups, the following is a list of tips for facilitators
The young people co-facilitating the activities/exercises
Asking for feedback from the previous week at the beginning of each session
Reviewing the workshops half way through proved vital for tying the whole programme together
The variety of activities and resources used and the range of topics covered meant that everyone responded and had in-put at some point or another
The use of written, visual and discussion based methods catered for all learning types in the group
The mixture of working in pairs, small groups and as a large group helped give everyone the opportunity to participate and created different group-dynamics from week to week.
Practical techniques to relieve stress and relax.
Creating their own peer support (in one case it was posters) and sending them out to various other youth groups gave the group maximum ownership over their learning.
Allowing for flexibility during the sessions to deal with issues/questions that come up
THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR
The limitation of time
The number in the group needs to be manageable. This depends on various factors such as; the needs of the young people, the space available, the number of workers etc.
Ensure there is enough practical and appropriate activities and information for each session.
Issues arising for the young people after group sessions
Ensure the group know what supports are available to them
Ensure that there is follow up to any questions the young people have asked
Ensure that there is a child protection policy in place