Published on: December 6, 2023
Staff at Compass Bloom Mental Health Support Teams were given protected time to develop new assemblies, lessons and workshops to deliver in schools, then tested them with their colleagues.
Anne Haines, service manager, said: “Our staff took turns to deliver to the team some newly developed sessions on anxiety, transition to secondary school and exam stress which we rolled out to schools from September.
“In order to test out the activities, the team went straight into role play as curious and sometimes a little tricky 11-year-olds!”
All the services’ assistant educational mental health practitioners (EMHPs), trainee EMHPs, qualified EMHPs, supervising practitioners and Team Leaders took part.
The staff learnt how to deliver our MHST pods – small group therapeutic interventions – and developed parent workshops about how the parent/carer project could further support the children, young people and families across Central and West Lancashire.
Anne said of the development work: “This has helped Compass Bloom build upon our existing Whole School Approach (WSA). It’s helped practitioners gain more confidence and be able to deliver more WSA sessions to more schools, in more planned and thought-out ways, improving engagement and enjoyment.
“It strengthens our commitment to helping children and young people grow through what they’re going through. And it also solidifies our support to school and college staff.”
She said the work further enabled the service to provide an unbiased approach to delivering support, help and coping strategies to the children, young people, families and teachers and other school staff who attend the sessions.
And she added: “What shone through was the support everyone had for each other. This has certainly helped us to deliver confidently in our schools and colleges and support the schools in emotional and wellbeing activities.
Compass Bloom EMHPs gave their reaction to the work.
Samantha Ryan-Fenton said: “I felt connected with my peers, it helped me build my confidence in delivering whole school approach to a group.
Sophie Corless, said: “It broke my fear of speaking in front of groups, it pushed me out of my comfort zone, I felt safe and supported and it helped me to deliver confidently.
And Lucy Taylor said: “I learnt a lot from the experiences of my peers, we have such a wide ranges of skills, backgrounds and experiences here across the team and it boosted my confidence and made it feel easier to deliver WSA in real life. Everyone cheered each other on.”