As part of BBC Radio Sheffield’s ‘Heads Up’ week of special content around mental health, Chilypep were invited to talk to Howard Pressman about social media and the effects it can have on young people’s mental health.
STAMP group member Alex and Chilypep communications lead Rebecca Cooke visited the Sheffield studio.
At Chilypep we believe in empowering young people to take positive actions and affect change in their own lives.
Empowerment can take many forms. Whether that’s writing a letter to your MP, taking part in a political demonstration or singing a song about something you believe in. But whatever form it takes, empowerment is all about expressing yourself.
Shannon, a 20-year-old member of the OASIS Group in Barnsley says that she enjoys writing poetry as a distraction and a way of working out her feelings about her mental health.
This powerful poem was written by Shannon and shared with Chilypep for our blog.
OASIS, Chilypep’s Barnsley-based mental health action group were highly commended in the first National Children and Young Peoples Mental Health Awards.
The awards ceremony was held at Manchester Town Hall on Saturday January 6th and was the first Positive Practice awards to celebrate the work of children and young people across the country who have worked to improve services for their peers struggling with their mental health.
OASIS were shortlisted in the Innovator of the Year category for designing and developing the Mental Health First Aid Kit in 2017, which launched at Chilypep’s #NotJustMe event on World Mental Health Day.
“We’re delighted to have been highly commended for such an amazing award,” OASIS Project Coordinator Chantelle Parke said.
She continued, “The young people in the OASIS group have worked incredibly hard over the past year to end the stigma around mental health and improve services for other young people in Barnsley. It’s great to see their efforts recognised and is something that will be a positive memory for them as they move forward with their campaigning.”
The OASIS Group meets every Thursday at Horizon College in Barnsley to work on campaigns and engage in lively discussion around how to improve local mental health services and influence the national debate about young people’s mental health.
Chilypep is working with the Child and Adult Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and Adult Mental Health Services (AMHS) to help them come together and improve the process of moving through mental health services for young people.
Often, young people find that they become distressed and frustrated when moving through the services as they have to answer the same question several times to several people, fill out a lot of paperwork that can be confusing, and feel overwhelmed by what feels like a barrage of information and intrusive questioning before they can get the help they need.
Chilypep project worker Sian Beynon presented the above audio clip at a conference with CAMHS and AMHS where STAMP group members consulted on how to improve transitions between services for young people.
“It can be a very stressful and overwhelming experience for young people to move between services,” says Sian.
“They are at a point where they need to feel heard and understood by the organisations and services they’re in contact with and it can be a barrier to getting help when the processes aren’t in place for a smooth transition from different services or when leaving CAMHS and accessing AMHS. That’s why we’re working to improve this transition, based upon the consultations with young people and what they have told us.”
The audio clip above is an audio representation of how it feels, the kind of thoughts and questions young people have when moving through services or accessing them for the first time.
Local jazz and swing legends The Free Radicals hosted a benefit gig for Chilypep on Saturday Dec 2nd. The night was a huge success with over 150 attendees and £1586 raised through ticket sales, a raffle and auction.
Chilypep supporters and music-lovers alike danced the night away at Crookes Social Club where the event was held.
The Free Radicals were joined by a support act, 17-year-old singer songwriter Rachel Webster, who performed a mix of original tracks and covers accompanied by her guitar.
The gig was also the last for Free Radicals’ percussionist Val Regan who will no longer be playing with the band due to other commitments.
Chilypep would like to thank all who attended the gig and donated their time, money and auction prizes.
This World Mental Health Day saw the official launch of Chilypep’s mental Health First Aid Kits at Barnsley Town Hall.
Hundreds of children, young people, Chilypep group members and service representatives gathered at the Town Hall for the launch of the kits, which will be distributed to schools and colleges around South Yorkshire.
They were created by Chilypep’s OASIS group as part of their ongoing #NotJustMe campaign to end the damaging stigma around mental health.
The kits contain coping techniques and emotional wellbeing top tips including stress balls, materials to make a glitter jar, lavender dough and a fidget cubes as well as positive affirmations and inspiring quotes from other young people.
Pupils from local schools and colleges came together to celebrate World Mental Health Day and take part in drumming workshops, creative craft sessions and watch live music and spoken word poetry.
The campaign and event is part of a wider effort to improve Barnsley’s mental health services for young people under the Local Area Transformation Plan and Future in Mind, funded by Barnsley Clinical Commissioning Group.
The event was opened by the Mayor of Barnsley who urged young people to talk about their mental health and Labour MP for Barnsley Dan Jarvis commented on the event: “Mental health affects us all. It is estimated that 1 in 4 people will suffer from poor mental health at some point in their lives. We all know someone who has struggled with mental health.
“For far too long there has been a stigma attached to mental health. Too many people feel worried about coming forward and talking about it. But whilst we still have a long way to go to achieve parity of esteem between physical and mental health, I am heartened by the progress we have made. Mental health is finally being seen as a top priority and that is because organisations like Chilypep and Hear My Voice have tirelessly advocated for it. I want to thank them for putting on this event.”
Chilypep, in partnership with Hear My Voice and Experience Barnsley Museums, collected the views and opinions of young people, calling for them to write their opinions about mental health, coping mechanisms and what makes them stressed on the display cabinets in the museum.
The event also saw the launch of the OASIS group manifesto which includes key consultation findings and recommendations from young people abou how mental health services for young people can be improved in Barnsley. To read more and download the manifesto here.
Chilypep would like to thank all the services, organisations, young people and schools who cam to the event. Together we will create mental health friendly Barnsley!
Originally Published in the Sheffield Star Online by Sam Jackson. 8/8/17
Schools and colleges across South Yorkshire are to get first aid kits to cope with mental health issues of youngsters.
Sheffield-based charity The Children and Young People’s Empowerment Project has developed the kits, which are much like a traditional first aid box, with youngsters across South Yorkshire.
The kits will include supplies to help young people cope and resolve a number of mental health issues such as glitter jars, stress balls, lavender dough, wristbands and colour therapy books. The charity has also worked with a group of teenagers to create 31 tips for better mental health – one for each of day of the month – designed to manage symptoms alongside support.
The first 50 kits and advice will be distributed among schools and colleges, with others being adopted by organisations across South Yorkshire, in time for World Mental Health Day on October 10.
Chilypep participation co-ordinator and mental health trainer, Chantelle Parke, has been working alongside young people, including Barnsley mental health campaigning group OASIS, to create the kits.
She said: “What we are aiming to achieve with the Mental Health First Aid Kits is parity of esteem. We want mental health to be seen as equally as important as our physical health. “It’s common to see first aid kits in every office, classroom and public space, why shouldn’t there be mental health first aid kits too?”
“Many of the supplies in the kits are distraction techniques. They include things like squeezing a stress ball instead of punching a wall, or using a marker pen to mark where you would normally cut.”
For the last two years, Chilypep has also been consulting with young people to improve services, the quality of support available and access.
Chilypep are partnering with creative arts therapy group Hear My Voice to celebrate the distribution of the kits, which are funded by Barnsley Clinical Commissioning Group, on World Mental Health Day.
Originally published in The Barnsley Chronicle 30.6.17 by Alicia Clow. http://bit.ly/2u8TEVI
A Barnsley project has developed a young people’s mental health first aid kit to improve support for mental health issues.
The kits have been produced by young people’s empowerment project Chilypep, and include items such as glitter jars, lavender dough, wristbands and colour therapy books, are aimed at helping young people to cope and resolve a number of mental health issues. Alongside the kit, the organisation has worked with a group of teens to create 31 tips for better mental health – one for each day of the month – designed to manage symptoms alongside support.
It is hoped the kits and advice will be adopted by other organisations, with the first 50 to be distributed among local schools and colleges later this year.
Enabling young people to talk about their issues
Chilypep participation co-ordinator and mental health trainer Chantelle Parke has been working alongside young people to create the kits. She said: “It’s a distraction technique. They include things like squeezing a stress ball instead of punching a wall, or using a marker pen to mark where you would normally cut.”
Part of the Barnsley Local Area Transformation Plan – a collaboration between Barnsley CCG and a group of specially commissioned service providers – for the last two years, Chilypep has also been consulting with young people to improve services, the quality of support available and access. Young people’s mental health services are high on the government agenda and have become a national talking point.
But Chantelle said Barnsley is ahead of the curve: “We’re starting to see lots more around mental health and it has enabled young people to talk about their issues more.”
Chantelle said that school pressures, social media and bullying are high on young people’s list when it comes to things that can cause distress.
“Because of social media, if a young person is being bullied in school, they go home and it’s still happening,” she said.
Every Thursday between 5pm and 7pm Chilypep runs the OASIS Mental Health group at Horizon Community College, where 11 to 25-year-olds are able to find support, learn more about services available and to help shape what is on offer in Barnsley.
Through listening to young people’s experiences of mental health services, the project has discovered there is a commonality between the group’s experiences.
Frequent problems include: repeating the same story over and over again to different healthcare professionals, long waiting lists for support, inability to build a relationship with just one person and a lack of awareness regarding support available.
The transformation plan hopes to use the opinions of the OASIS group to create an online directory of services and improve mental health services in the borough
Young people looking to get involved and inform the future of mental health services in Barnsley can search Chilypep on Facebook or call Chantelle on 07896131676.