CAMHS Wellbeing Consultation

Drama-based consultation

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When you don’t feel like you can help yourself and you don’t feel like you matter anymore

It can be because of trauma, something that happens to you

Mental health means you are crazy


These are the responses of children taking part in the The Play House’s innovative Creative Consultation for the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS).  This Consultation was commissioned by CAMHS and the Heart of Birmingham Teaching Primary Care Trust to accompany an external needs assessment also commissioned by CAMHS. The project took place over seven weeks within primary and secondary schools across the Heart of Birmingham area with 452 children and young people between the ages of 5 and 16. 

The consultation used drama and theatre as a means of engaging pupils with the issue of mental health so that their views, perceptions and attitudes could be collected. 

A variety of methods were used to enable children to formulate and articulate their responses:

  • Drama was used as a way of physicalising thoughts and feelings relating to mental health
  • Pupils watched and responded to a series of episodic performances featuring the character of Jay who was experiencing issues relating to mental health
  • Using the fictional frame, children were asked to respond to questions relating to the perception of Jay’s mental health and the sources of support available to him
  • Pupil’s responses were collected on a pupil worksheet that included activities which used Jay’s story as a stimulus.

At the end of the process evidence of the participant’s attitudes and understandings were presented in a joint epidemiological overview comprising The Play House’s Creative Consultation and CAMHS’ external needs assessment.  It is intended that this will help to shape the future service provision CAHMS offers.

 

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