Worth-it: focussing on positive mental health, resilience and wellbeing interventions

Resilience is defined as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma and stress. It is commonly acknowledged that developing strategies and internal resources along with help from a support network are vital in building resilience.

Worth-it’ is a social enterprise dedicated to delivering resilience and wellbeing intervention programmes to children in schools. The interventions and training courses are underpinned by the principles of ‘Positive Psychology’ which is defined as the scientific study of positive human functioning. To promote young people flourishing on multiple levels that include the biological, personal, relational, institutional, cultural, and the global dimensions of life*.

The founder, Liz Robson-Kelly, is in fact a positive psychology practitioner and practice based researcher.

“It started as small support group for carers of people with mental health problems way back in 2011 where the mums attending the group expressed that they would have much preferred earlier support to prevent mental health problems developing in their children. This got me thinking.” Liz explained. “The Worth-it project focuses on early interventions, by developing strategies that improve resilience and wellbeing.”

Worth-it’s training programmes and support are delivered in a range of organisations such as schools, multi academy trusts, teaching school alliances, charities and youth and community organisations. Their menu of programmes are aimed a whole range of stakeholders; children, young adults, teachers, parents and care providers. They have worked with over 150 schools in the last 7 years.

The interventions are tailored for the specific needs of the school or a group. Some of the elements of a programme include training in skills and strategies that develop the resilience of children and young people through interactions and sharing of experience. There are delegate packs that have handouts, worksheets, tips, ideas and tools to take the learning further.

The interventions that have been delivered directly with young people  outcomes are measured and carefully monitored for their effectiveness using qualitative and quantitative methods and the common diagnostic scales DASS21, PHQ-9 and GAD-7 are applied. A recent audit of their targeted  intervention programme coaching and group work programmes  showed(as measured by SDQ) average reductions in emotional symptoms by 28%, conduct problems by 29%, peer problems by 19% and hyperactivity by 20%.

The recent Green Paper** – Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health Provision – acknowledges that there is limited evidence to support the effectiveness of specific preventive interventions such as positive psychology approaches. However, it mentions that the Public Health England has identified ‘resilience and emotional health’ nationally as one of the six ‘high impact areas’ in schools and is encouraging local services to provide this.

Liz concluded “I’m positive about the recommendations of the Green Paper and hope to see more evidence based research and more active leaning towards early interventions and supporting wellbeing through developing an ethos that prevents mental health problems within a whole school culture”.

For further information, visit Worth-it’s website.

References

Key points

  • Worth-it delivers early intervention programmes in resilience building and wellbeing for schools.
  • The training programmes and workshops are also tailored for teachers, practitioners and parents.
  • The outcomes of the programmes are measured and carefully monitored for their effectiveness using qualitative and quantitative methods and they have shown reductions in emotional symptoms, conduct problems and peer problems.
  • For more information contact: info@worth-itprojects.co.uk

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