The ideas provided on this website may or may not be helpful depending on the individual they are being aimed at. Therefore the pathway initiator should use their judgement to consider what works in each case. The following scenarios may give an idea of how and when to use the ideas.
A midday supervisor notices a 15-year-old girl who appears isolated during lunch time and has started to leave a lot of her meal. The midday supervisor discusses this with a teacher or school nurse to raise concern for the young person to be monitored.
After looking at the website the school nurse or teacher may use some of the strategies in the following ways:
Allocate protected time to talk with the young person, giving both her and the listener (in this case, school nurse or teacher) the chance to prepare. The listener may take this opportunity to have some questions prepared to gather as much information as possible. They may use the five ways to wellbeing to guide the discussion and help consider aspects of the young girl’s life for example:
- Connect – Who is in her support networks? Are they valuable and appropriate? What would be better? Are there any difficulties she is facing in relationships?
- Learn – What does she enjoy doing? Is she achieving and progressing satisfactorily? What are her motivations? Is there anything that is stopping her progression?
- Active – Does she get regular exercise that is sufficient and not excessive?
- Notice – Is she living in the moment? Can she maintain her focus? Does she find herself worrying or with regrets? Does she find herself easily distracted?
- Give – Does she feel that she makes a positive contribution to her surroundings, family and peers? Are there too many expectations placed on her? Is she able to give herself time to relax and feel better about herself?
The listener must have a clear idea of what it is that the young girl feels the issues are and what is most important to her. They must consider her competence and understanding of the issues then look at making a support plan together. The following suggestions may be used collectively or individually:
- Introduce the five ways to wellbeing to help the young person to consider each day whether she is positively contributing to her emotional health. Encourage her to make a poster with ideas to try for each section; she will be able to make this personal and work for her.
- Create a mood diary to monitor emotions and feelings in the context of her environment and situation. Through this she may reflect on how she can better manage her feelings in the future, be aware of triggers and understand what helps her to feel better.
- Pinpoint her strengths and look at what she enjoys and she may be encouraged to attend a local group. Alternatively suggest another young person she could buddy with who shares similar interests.
- Suggest some self-soothing techniques such as breathing exercises which will provide her with tools to regulate her emotions at difficult times. A relaxing bath or shower every evening may help to maintain safer stress levels, giving more opportunity to concentrate effectively.
After this initial meeting, a follow up meeting should be arranged for a few days’ time to review progress, depending on the severity of each need. The support plan will need monitoring throughout and the young person should be made aware of who to contact if matters become more concerning.
James is a nine-year-old boy who has recently been diagnosed with ASD. He is very anxious and aggressive to his parents. He has sensory issues and he doesn’t like tight clothes and labels in his clothes hurt him.
The Targeted Family Support Team (TFST) works with the family to help his parents put boundaries in place as they find it difficult to say no to James. A referral has been made to BEMH Pathway by the TFST Support Worker. After discussion at the SPA (Single Point of Access) the following was offered: a Cygnet parenting course through the Behavioural and Emotional Health Team and a Choice assessment with CAMHS.
At the Choice assessment the CAMHS practitioner identified that James’ anxieties were very much around school and CAMHS offered a consultation to the school and family support worker. As a result of the consultation the agencies already involved felt better able to support James and the school accessed the ASD Team to support James while he is at school.
It also became clear that James had a lot of questions about his diagnosis. Individual work was offered with the BEH Team around his diagnosis and managing it. Following this work James was able to cope better both at home and at school and his levels of anxiety and aggression reduced.