Mental Health and Youth Work
INSIDE Contributors: Dr. Aileen O’Reilly Leighann Ryan Culleton Fran McVeigh Dr. Lynsey O’Keefe Eithne Hunt Karyn Farrell Rachel Kelly Catherine Doyle Joanna Siewierska Ailish O’Neill Gareth Gibson
Happiness & Young People Mental Health & Well Being Let’s Go Mental! Mental Health in Focus
Issue 82, March 2015 ISBN: 0791-6302
Scene Magazine Issue 82, March 2015 Contents 3
A Word from our CEO Dr. Patrick J. Burke, Youth Work Ireland
Snow White & the Seven Mental Helpers Catherine Doyle, TRYS
A Youth Approach to a School‐based Resilience Building Programme Leighann Ryan Culleton, CRYS
Mental Health & Well‐being Ailish O’Neill, NYHP
Mental Health ‐ Putting it in Focus Gareth Gibson, Donegal Youth Service
Let’s Go Mental! Karyn Farrell, Comhairle na nÓg
Poppintree Health for ALL Fran McVeigh, Poppintree Youth Project
Tools for Engaging in Mental Health Rachel Kelly, FYRC
Youth Engagement in Mental Health Dr. Aileen O’Reilly & Dr. Lynsey O’Keefe Headstrong ‐ Jigsaw
“Integration and Me” Joanna Siewierska
Research Brief ‐ Adolescent Time Use and Health Related Quality of Life. Eithne Hunt, UCC
Production Editor: Matthew Seebach & Gina Halpin Layout: Gina Halpin Cover Image: 39 Steps taken at the Irish Youth Music Awards 2015 © Ruth Medjber Printing: IFP Media Contributors: Patrick Burke, Darren L. Dahly, Catherine Doyle, Karyn Farrell, Anthony P. Fitzgerald, Gareth Gibson, Eithne Hunt, Martin Keeney, Louise Lynch, Elizabeth A. McKay, Fran McVeigh, Lynsey O’Keefe, Ailish O’Neill, Aileen O’Reilly, Orla O’Reilly, Ivan D. Perry, Leighann Ryan Culleton & Joanne Siewierska Contact: Irish Youth Work Centre, Youth Work Ireland, 20 Lower Dominick Street, Dublin 1, Tel: 01‐8584512 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com Website: www.youthworkireland.ie Disclaimer: It is open to all our readers to exchange information or to put forward points of view. Send in news, comments, letters or articles to the editors. Views expressed in this magazine are the contributors own and do not reflect those of the Irish Youth Work Centre or Youth Work Ireland.
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Greeting all and welcome to the Spring edition of Scene Magazine. The theme of this edition is mental health and youth work. The risk and protective factors of mental health that have significance for youth work practice are now well attested to in both the literature and practice of youth work in Ireland. This is because as a sector we have been listening to young people and responding to their needs. So many consultations with young people, most notably the recent consultation carried out by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs in preparation for the development of the forthcoming National Youth Strategy, recognise that the primary health issues for young people is their mental health. We know through our direct work with young people that their stress levels increase during their journey through the teenage years. We know of the devastating impact of face‐to‐face and online bullying on the mental health of young people. We witness the effects of risky alcohol and drug consumption and how it can lead to anxiety and depression. The current debate surrounding the Marriage Equality Referendum has highlighted the links between self‐harm, suicide attempts and depression on young people coming to terms with their gender identity in the context of a world which has not fully accepted these identities as normal, acceptable and equal. Good youth work practice whether mainstream or targeted, provides essential protective factors to mitigate against these risk factors. We provide safe places and spaces for young people to be themselves and explore all aspects of their identity. Through the practice of youth work, young people’s self‐ awareness and self‐confidence grows and develops. Youth Information provides them with accurate and appropriate information to assist them in decision‐making and equips them with the skills to navigate through a proliferation of information, some of good quality and more much less so. Above all however, youth work and we as youth workers provide the most essential thing… “one good adult”. Central and critical to the practice of youth work is the relationship between the youth worker and the young person. In whatever aspect of youth work we are engaged in, whether in clubs, programmes or projects we must cherish, foster and protect this relationship so that we are there for young people when needed. This is the work of all youth workers and youth work and not just programmes that are specifically aimed at supporting young people around their mental health issues. Youth work in itself and in whatever context, is a protective factor in young people’s mental health. Clearly for certain young people more targeted mental health initiatives are necessary and helpful and we as a sector must continue to develop and provide them. However we must not forget that our work with young people week‐in and week‐out is hugely impactful on the mental health of the young people we have relationships with. I hope that this edition of Scene Magazine will promote greater reflection and conversations within the youth work sector on the contribution of youth work to young people’s mental health. More importantly I hope that this reflection will better equip us to respond to the health needs of the young people we work with. Happy reading.
Dr. Patrick J. Burke CEO Youth Work Ireland
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Snow White and the Seven Mental Helpers Catherine Doyle Tipperary Regional Youth Service
Tipperary Regional Youth Service (TRYS) is an integrated youth service that works with young people aged between 8 and 25 years of age. We manage a range of projects in Tipperary and East Limerick, which include working with disadvantaged young people providing targeted interventions in the areas of youth justice, substance misuse, family support, as well as supporting volunteer led clubs and community initiatives. TRYS has always placed a strong focus on mental health and youth participation and because of this a group of young people who are members of TRYS developed a peer‐led Mental Health workshop. This workshop was entitled Snow white and the Seven Mental Health Helpers. How it all came about In 2013 Tipperary Regional Youth Service received funding from the Community Foundation of Ireland to create a peer‐led workshop. A group of young people from Cashel Neighbourhood Youth project and Tipperary Youth Project came together and completed Mind Out Mental Health Programme to ensure the working group had a clear understanding of what mental health is and how to cope with it. On completion of this the group worked together looking at possible ways to highlight the message that it’s ok to talk about mental health and the different ways of dealing with difficult situations. They came up with the concept of a modern day Snow White who has an argument with her mother, she goes into the woods to get away from everything, falls over and when she wakes up she is surrounded by the seven mental health helpers (Talky, Arty, Sporty, Friendly, Doc., etc.). Snow White has to choose the one that she feels will help her deal with the situation in the best possible way. So she picks Talky who follows her home and supports her to talk to her mother about how difficult she is finding everything. Once the film was completed the group then created a workshop to go along with it, in this the group have used various exercises some of which are based on Mind Out Mental Health Programme.
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Fea tur ed Ar ticl e
In 2014 Tipperary Regional Youth Service was one of four organisations in the country to receive funding as part of NYCI’s Connected Communities Mental Health Promotion Initiative. The title of the initiative that TRYS received funding for was “Syncing our Thinking” which brought together a number of strands to support positive mental health in local communities. As part of this TRYS provided training to 16 young people aged 15‐ 17 years of age from various youth projects throughout Tipperary to assist them in running Snow White and the Seven Mental Health Helpers workshops in their own communities with the support of a youth worker. We wanted to pilot it to see if it would indeed work in a school setting. These young people went on to provide the workshop to six different primary schools working with over 123 5th and 6th class students. Teachers in the schools commented on how beneficial it was for the students to hear such positive messages from their peers and they felt that made the programme far more effective than having it coming from a teacher.
round of training will take place in May, with the facilitation in the schools taking place in June 2015. By the end of the year the programme will be packaged into a training pack for each facilitator to have on completion of training. People can view Snow White and the Seven Mental Health Helpers film on the following link ‐ www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0GNNt73E_c&list=PLWql9 wUQpCq2EMFdKTjk885JQ26nuiUFY Or by typing the full title Snow White and the Seven Mental Health Helpers into Youtube. Tipperary Regional Youth Service will run this programme on an annual basis and ensure the message gets to as many young people as possible.
For further details on this programme contact Catherine Doyle at www.trys.ie
Going forward In light of the success of the pilot that ran in schools in 2014, this programme will be rolled out again in 2015 with a target of 12 schools to be completed. A new
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A youth approach to school based resilience building programmes for children aged between 812 years By Leighann Ryan Culleton, Carlow Regional Youth Services
Carlow Regional Youth Services in collaboration the National Educational Psychology Service (NEPS) implemented an evidenced‐based positive mental health programme ‘FRIENDS for Life’. The programme was delivered to young people aged between 8‐12 years attending the afterschool programme within the youth service. The purpose of this article is to share our experience by providing details on the background to the collaboration, describe the implementation of the programme, discuss the impact it had on young people and suggest recommendations for future delivery.
Background ‘FRIENDS for Life’ was developed in Australia for use in schools with children and adolescents to reduce anxiety and promote emotional resilience. The ‘FRIENDS for Life’ programme comes with a wealth of empirical literature that supports its effectiveness and efficacy. Most notably the programme has been endorsed by the World Health Organisation (WHO 2004), stating that FRIENDS is the only anxiety intervention that ‘appears to be efficacious across the entire spectrum, as a universal prevention programme, as a targeted prevention programme and as a treatment’ (p.43). To date in Ireland this programme has only been delivered through the school curriculum, where NEPS have both delivered the programme to students and/or trained the teachers within the schools to deliver the programme. Together it
was agreed to pilot this programme within a community setting as a response to help combat the high rate of suicide among young people in Carlow. Furthermore emerging evidence regarding young people’s mental health in Ireland also supported our approach. Irish adolescence has higher rates of mental health disorders compared to USA & UK (Cannon et al, 2013). In Ireland by the age of 13 years, 1 in 3 young people are likely to have experienced some type of mental disorder (Cannon et al., 2013). Anxiety disorders are the most frequent mental disorders in children and adolescence (Cannon et al., 2013). The My World Survey (MWS) found that over one‐third of young people are outside the normal range for anxiety (34.5%) and that psychological difficulties increase among young people over time. (Dooley & Fitzgerald, 2012). Therefore, early intervention
programmes aimed at reducing the prevalence of anxiety in children is deemed both necessary and beneficial. According to the WHO (2004) progressive early prevention and intervention initiatives to reduce anxiety problems among children are essential to prevent further problems manifesting into adulthood. Given that many anxiety disorders develop early in life, effective early intervention and prevention programmes represent a significant opportunity to prevent a great deal of suffering for individuals and their families.
Implementation of the ’FRIENDS for Life’ Programme 19 staff at Carlow Regional Youth Services underwent a two day training course to become accredited facilitators in the programme. The programme was delivered to 57 young people attending our daily after school programme. Young people attending
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Fea tur ed Ar ticl e
the after schools are primarily referred through the school and are run in three separate locations in Carlow town. Table 1 below outlines content details for each of the 10 sessions. Behavioural, physiological and cognitive strategies help the young people participating in the programme to: 1) 2) 3) 4)
Identify anxious feelings. How to relax. How to identify anxious thoughts. Change unhelpful thoughts to helpful ones. 5) Over come every day problems. 6) Build on success.
A structured manual is provided which specifies the goals of each session and gives advice on delivery. Every child also has a workbook for personal responses and plans relating to the group and individual activities. It is recommended that some exercises are completed as home activities involving other members of the child’s family.
Impact the programme had on young people Measures including the Spence Anxiety Scale and the Beck Self Concept questionnaire were taken before and after programme
Table 1: Content details each of the 10 sessions Session
Session 1 Session 2 Session 3
Introduction, Understanding & Accepting Differences Introduction to Feelings Introduction to Body Clues and Relaxation
Session 4 Session 5 Session 6 Session 7 Session 8 Session 9 Session 10
Self Talk: Helpful ( Green) and Unhelpful (Red) Thoughts Challenging Unhelpful (Red) into Helpful (Green) Thoughts Introduction to Coping Step Plan Learning for our Role Model and Building Support Teams Using Problem Solving Using the FRIENDS for Life skills to help Ourselves and Others Review and Party
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delivery. Overall a 5% reduction in anxiety rates and a 3% increase in self concept were found among the young people. In addition self report evaluations were completed by youth workers after every session and on completion of the programme. Young people also completed a self report evaluation on completion of the programme, including written, spoken and visual interpretations on the impact they felt the programme had on their lives. Table 2 (below) summarises youth workers review of the impact they observed during programme. One of the major improvements outlined by all youth workers was the progressive improvement in young people’s behaviours within the group. According to the youth workers, young people became a lot calmer and less chaotic as the programme progressed. Young people’s ability to consider and support their peers behaviours and emotions was also recognised as an important impact of the programme ‘increase in empathy, their ability to be more thoughtful towards others was heightened’.
Furthermore youth workers commented on how young people learned a new language, ‘It gave young people the language to verbalise how they were feeling, it linked feelings and behaviours and gave them the tools to try and manage their behaviours, and they got it’ Table 2 below also outlines how the young people felt the programme helped them in their lives. Overall the majority of young people commented that following the programme they felt calmer, in control of their anger and more considerate of other people’s feelings and behaviours. They gave examples on how they now help other people when they are angry or anxious. These new positive behaviours were also observed by the youth workers. ‘young people began to support each other by recommending different approaches when they recognised that their peers were struggling with behaviours or decision making process’. The improvement in peer relationship commented on by the young people may be attributed to the improvement in young people’s empathy skills. This is important to
note as positive relationship play a crucial role in young people’s mental health and well‐being.
2. Creating a Relaxed and Positive Environment
Recommendations for Future Delivery
The environment in which the programme was delivered was experienced as having a positive factor and imperative to the success of the programme,
1. Confidence in the Youth Work Approach From their experience the youth workers delivering the programme strongly recommended that all youth workers delivering this programme have confidence in the youth work approach. Following the training the youth workers commented on how they were fixated on sticking to the structure and format of the programme outlined in the manuals. However, following a review of the first number of sessions, it was agreed that this needed to be a change in approach in order for the programme to work. While maintaining the integrity of the ‘FRIENDS for Life’ programme they applied the youth work approach. As a result young people were involved in the implementation of the programme, scrapbooking, poster‐making and drama replaced some of the worksheets to deliver the content. The pace of delivery was guided by the young people’s needs and abilities and more time was spent listening and processing the material with the young people.
Table 2: Youth workers and young peoples’ perspectives on the impact the programme had on the young people.
Impact on Young People
Impact on Young People
Youth Worker Perspective
Young people perspective
Calmer / less chaotic
More considerate of others feelings
In control of my anger
Open to talk about their feelings
More helpful to others
Awareness around their own and their peers emotions
Get on better with my friends
‘The community setting gave us flexibility to adapt the programme to the needs of the young’. It was felt that the informal setting helped the young people feel more comfortable expressing their feelings and opinions. One the activities noted as responsible for the positive environment was after each session youth workers and the young people would have a cup of tea and a biscuit together; this was expressed by the young people as one of their favourite most memorable part of the programme.
3. Adapting the Time Frame and Materials Time was an issue for the youth workers in terms of the amount of time it took to deliver one session. A lot of the sessions had to be delivered into two parts. Youth workers commented in their review about how difficult it was to cover all the activities within each session as well as to ensure that the young people understood the concepts. Future programmes will have to allow for this extra time. In regards to the content, youth workers commented on how at times the material was culturally inappropriate e.g. ‘very middle class Australia’ and sometimes domestically inappropriate due to participant’s own home circumstances. Therefore flexibility is needed in terms of using the programme materials, as it is necessary to
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replace some of the resources to something more suitable for young people within the Irish context. Additionally, there is an over reliance of worksheets throughout the programme, it is highly recommended to introduce more active forms of activities.
Conclusion Youth work engages with young people not only through a developmentally crucial period but when mental illness typical first presents. Therefore youth work professionals are ideally positioned to promote positive mental health and well‐being. Early intervention programmes aimed at promoting positive
Fea tur ed mental health is both necessary Ar ticl and beneficial. The ‘FRIENDS for Life’ e programme piloted within a youth service context has been found to be effective by reducing young people’s anxiety, increasing self concept and building personal resilience skills.
Author: Leighann Ryan Culleton, Youth Worker in the Youth at Risk Project CRYS www.crys.ie
References Cannon, M., Coughlan, Helen., Clarke, M., Harley,M., Kelleher, I., (2013). The mental health of young people in Ireland: A report of the psychiatric epidemiology research across the lifespan (PERL).Ireland: Royal College of Surgeons Dooley, Barbara. A., Fitzgerald, Amanda. (2012). My World Survey : National Study of Youth Mental Health in Ireland. Headstrong and UCD School of Psychology. World Health Organization (2004). Promoting Mental Health. Concepts, Emerging Evidence, Practice. Summary Report. Geneva: World Health Organization, Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse in collaboration with the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation and the University of Melbourne
Youth Work Ireland National Consensus Conference 2015
Hear Us Now Young People’s Participation in Decision‐Making SAVE THE DATE Dublin Castle Saturday 3rd October 2015
Mental Health & Wellbeing by Ailish O’Neill, National Youth Health Programme
‘Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well‐being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’(WHO 1948). The National Youth Health Programme (NYHP) endorses a holistic approach to health and well‐being through the delivery of a broad‐based, flexible health promotion programme of work. In 2013 NYHP developed a ‘Framework for Promoting Young People’s Health in Youth Organisations’, it recognises that young people’s health and well‐being is comprised of five key components; – physical, social, sexual, spiritual and mental & emotional health and wellbeing. Mental health and wellbeing is one of the core components of health and needs to be supported in a holistic manner to ensure health is experienced ‘as a resource for everyday life’ (WHO, Ottawa Charter 1986).
NYHP endorses a mental health promotion and preventative agenda, viewing mental health and well‐ being as a spectrum, and doesn’t identify health and illness as mutually exclusive. Mental health is a state of balance between individuals, others and their environment. NYHP supports practitioners working across the youth sector to build their capacity and capabilities to explore the area of mental health and well‐being with the young people they work with. Research from the My World Survey, has identified the importance of ‘One Good Adult’ on the mental wellbeing of young people. NYHP currently delivers Mindout training to youth workers on a national basis. Mindout was developed by Health Promotion HSE West in association with the Health Promotion Research Centre NUI Galway. It is a 12 session programme, which takes a positive approach to the promotion of mental and emotional well‐being.
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NYHP endorses a settings based approach to health promotion and this is complemented through the delivery of Mindout training at an organisational level. Mindout views mental health as a resource for everyday living and explores the various ways young people might cope with life’s stresses and ups and downs. The emphasis is on giving time to young people to explore what challenges their mental health, and looking at the ways they cope, ranging from personal coping skills to informal networks of support to professional or voluntary support services. The sessions can be delivered collectively or individually and can be used to complement existing programmes and activities that explore mental health and wellbeing. The facilitation style is experiential, enabling participants to engage themselves in the workshops, enhancing their understanding of the practical application of the Mindout programme. The delivery fosters a learning environment that is creative and reflective, providing a safe space for exploration and personal development. The training supports participants to focus on themselves, their values, actions and behaviors in relation to mental health and well‐being. At the end of the two day training participants have increased knowledge, skills and information to engage young people in a mental health promotion programme.
Fea tur ed NYHP also has a key role in the Ar delivery of Applied Social ticl e Intervention Skills Training (ASIST training. This training sits at the crisis end of the mental health spectrum and provides individuals with a two day interactive workshop in suicide first aid. This training is provided in co‐operation with the Suicide Prevention Resource Officers. Following ASIST training, participants have increased knowledge and skills to help a young person at risk of suicide and have increased knowledge of the supports and resources available to support the person at risk. NYHP will continue to support and develop our role as required to ensure youth workers are supported to deliver a holistic model of mental health and wellbeing. Mental health promotion supports a determinants approach to mental health and well‐being and recognises interventions must exist at the environmental, social and individual level.
For further information contact the National Youth Health Programme team on: Email: Ailish@nyci.ie Jamesb@nyci.ie Tel: 01 4784122 www.nyci.ie
Calling all young women aged between 16 and 24 Do you have thoughts on body image or leadership and how that impacts on you and your friends? How do you feel about your body? Do you celebrate it, or do you want to change it? Do you think there is pressure on you to look a certain way? Who are the role models in your life? Are you a role model? Are there obstacles in your way to becoming a role model or a leader? What does leadership mean to you? Scene Magazine
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We want to hear from you. Have your say When: Saturday 30th May 11am‐3.30pm Where: NWCI’s Office, 100 North King Street, Smithfield, Dublin 4 Contact Louise or Sarah firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com 01‐6790100 Registration is Essential 11
Mental Health PUTTING IT IN FOCUS by Gareth Gibson, Donegal Youth Service Everybody will inevitably encounter tough times in life and young people are no different. Ultimately it can come down to how mentally fit we are in terms of dealing with it. In Donegal Youth Service (DYS), like many other youth organisations, there are concerted efforts to support young people and empower them with the necessary skills and attributes to cope with the tough times. DYS has advanced work in this area through an integrated approach to service provision. Put simply, DYS has established positive mental health work as a core pillar of programme planning.
involved in developing every single aspect of the roadshow and saw them work with over 800 young people from all over the county, and in different regional locations, with the aim being to "create sparks" and educate people to look after their own mental health and to implement mental health initiatives in their own school. The roadshow visited five different locations in the county, both in urban and rural areas. It kicked off on World Mental Health day and in total 24 of the 27 secondary schools in the county participated in the roadshows, as well as having participants from four different Youthreach Centres. It narrowed the In recent times at DYS there has been some interesting information gap between schools, young people and programmes and events delivered across the service in support services and provided vital positive messages at many parts of the county that have furthered the agenda a time in Ireland where many young people feel lack of in terms of removing the barriers and stigma associated hope and apathy due to the recession. with talking about mental health. They include SPARKS Mental Health Roadshow – Donegal Youth Council; Young From all five events 95% was the lowest rate of those Men’s Mental Fitness Group – Letterkenny Youth who said they learned more about mental health from Information Centre and Cycle Against Suicide – LOFT the event, with three of the five events receiving 100% Health Cafe. positive feedback. Other outcomes of the project include a decrease in the information gap about support services available across the county for those involved. Feedback SPARKS Roadshow is also transmitting from schools that it has offered a The SPARKS roadshow, which was developed by fresh approach to the topic and is inspiring students to members of the Donegal Youth Council following implement projects and initiatives for their wider school extensive research and consultation with their peers, community also. aimed to offer information and advice on how to manage stress in life during exam times and other Young Men’s Mental Fitness Group difficult situations, and how to be more aware of what supports you have around you and how you can be a Young men in Donegal often experience difficult feelings support to others. The main objective was to do so in a and uncomfortable emotions that they believe are fun and interactive way. The roadshow was developed socially unacceptable to express. Perceived stigma, stoic using the model of the Mental Health Five‐A‐Day, which attitudes, masculine ideals of self‐reliance and strength is internationally now recognised as five key areas you result in young men finding it difficult to communicate can focus on which can have a big effect on your health their feelings. Young men are not socialised to emotional and wellbeing. The roadshow also had an input from a expression resulting in less skills for mental‐health range of organisations, including Jigsaw, DYS, Youth problem recognition, problem‐solving or emotional Information, HSE Health Promotion, Foroige and Mental competence. They often do not have the vocabulary to Health Ireland, with other guest speakers from the wider express themselves and feel talking about their problems community who have each conquered their own personal makes them weak. In lieu of more effective ways of challenges in life, such as Mount Everest conqueror dealing with problems, young men often turn to Jason Black and Donegal soccer star Shay Given. aggression, alcohol and drugs as their primary coping mechanism for painful emotions, a method that is socially The SPARKS Mental Health Roadshow was developed by acceptable. This is endemic in Irish culture and as a young people for young people. Youth Councillors were result young men with problems can go unnoticed
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becoming dependent on alcohol or drugs, further exacerbating their problems.
Fea tur ed The programme aims to Ar recognise innovative and effective ticl e initiatives developed by schools and facilitates schools to share and showcase good practice. Activities undertaken by the CAS group in the LOFT included:
2014 The Letterkenny Youth Information Centre, recently completed its own research, based on an international study, which shows that some young men prefer an informal and comfortable environment in which they can discuss issues at their own pace, maintaining control and collaboratively reaching better conclusions about how to cope with their concerns. This environment respects who, when and how young men speak about their problems. This enables young men to discuss in a relaxed and informal environment alternative ways of dealing with stresses and avoiding reliance on drugs and alcohol to escape mental and physical pain. The project helped encourage a culture of help‐seeking instead of self‐medicating. The youth work approach is congruent with the preventative objective of the national drugs strategy as it tackles root causes and is not a superficial tokenistic attempt to patronise young people but to address the concerns of young men that are relevant to their lived realities. This was not group therapy, but an emotional skills‐ based group that was discursive and dynamic, addressing issues in a general way that does not require young men to speak about their own specific situations. Sessions focused on coping, expressing, problem recognition and solving, the reality of self‐medication, domestic violence, consequences, re‐defining masculinity and help‐seeking. As the group took place at dinner time, food was provided and we ate together as part of the beginning of every session.
Cycle Against Suicide, CAS Group DYS along with 29 secondary schools, were awarded the Cycle Against Suicide Ambassador status, recognising their work in promoting help seeking behaviour and the core message of Cycle Against Suicide: ‘it’s OK not to feel OK and it’s absolutely OK to ask for help’?
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• Mental Health Awareness Training • Mindfullness sessions • Feel Good Friday, promoting positive mental health within the drop‐in. • Group participants researched a range of services available to them in difficult times and learned about how to access these services. • In 2014 three young people and one youth worker participated in the Donegal leg of the cycle against suicide.
2015 • In 2015 the participants prepared a ‘positivity pack’ as a thank you gift to each of the cyclists passing through Donegal. These were presented at the lunch stopover at Carndonagh Community School. • Free writing project exploring emotions, self esteem, challenges and coping skills. • Research projects & presentations within the group on topics including; mental health and exercise, mental health and sleep and eating for mental health. It has become clear that greater outcomes to this and many other topics can be achieved via an integrated approach. At DYS we are committed to the development of a youth sector that meets the needs of young people. In the area of mental health, there are so many factors that can be considered and it ultimately requires a multi‐ faceted approach which benefits from an integrated ethos. Feedback from participants is integral to the evaluation of any such work and from the various testimonial statements listed below, positive outcomes are evident: " I know that everyone will have bad days when they feel down but that doesn't mean that they have bad mental health". "It showed me that mental health isn't just about 'crazy' people'" "I now know what it (mental health) is and where to find help" "I learned the symptoms so i can look out for others" Author: Gareth Gibson, Youth Information Manager, DYS Contributors: Martin Keeney, Youth Council Coordinator. Louise Lynch, Information Officer Orla O’Reilly, Loft Project Worker
Let’s Go Mental: ‘do something for your mental health today’ is a nationwide
The ideas behind the concept: Five‐a‐Day for your Mental Health
campaign to promote positive mental health in young people. This campaign has been developed by teenagers for teenagers and involves a series of 31 events in every local authority area to promote positive mental health through music, sport, the arts and other fun activities. The Let’s Go Mental events are being organised and run by the 31 Comhairle na nÓg and will take place all over the country from May to October 2015. A national launch of Let’s Go Mental will take place in Dublin on Wednesday 24th June.
• Connect is about reaching out to others and connecting with family, friends and your community. It is important for your mental health to connect with that ‘one good person’ in your life and to have someone to talk to when times are both good and bad. • Be Aware is about being mindful and aware of how you are feeling. It also encourages us to be curious about the wonders of the world around us and to appreciate the small things in everyday life. • Get Moving refers to being physically active. Doing a physical activity that you enjoy releases feel‐good endorphins that improve your mood and mental health • Give refers to doing something nice for others or your community like volunteering • Get Involved is about having a say in matters affecting you and making a contribution to your community. Joining clubs and youth groups and having a sense of purpose is widely known to have a positive impact on mental health.
So where did Let’s Go Mental come from? In 2013, young Comhairle na nÓg members from all over the country identified mental health as the topic of most importance to young people. As a result, mental health became the theme for Dail na nÓg 2013. The idea for Let’s Go Mental came from the final recommendation from Dáil na nÓg which was to host: ‘A national gathering for second level students, with music and events, to improve attitudes towards mental health’ The young people from the Comhairle na nÓg National Executive have been working on this initiative since January 2014.They came up with the title and concept for Let’s Go Mental and developed a template for all 31 events, which is based on Headstrong’s ‘Five‐a‐Day for your Mental Health’: Connect, Be Aware, Get Moving, Give and Get Involved. These five concepts are evidence‐based and are proven to have a positive impact on people’s mental health. Think for a moment about the ‘five‐a‐day’ for your physical health. Everyone knows what they are and understands their benefits to physical well‐being. So what about taking similar steps for your mental health? The young people on the National Executive think that the ‘five‐a‐day for your mental health’ is just as important and would like to see these five concepts became as much a part of the everyday life of young people in Ireland as those for your physical health.
These five concepts will form an integral part of each of the 31 regional events and will be realised in the most innovative and creative ways across the country. Music will also play an important part of Let’s Go Mental. A musical performance from a local music act will complete the bill at each regional event ‐ a nice finale as it brings everyone together for the final part of the day. So what makes our campaign and our events special? Firstly, they were created by young people for young people, and will be youth‐led. The second is the emphasis of our events and how we approached them – here are some buzz words that sum up Let’s Go Mental: POSITIVITY: we want to focus on the positive and small things we can all do every day which make a big difference to how we feel. FUN: we want to provide a fun and fabulous day for all participants.
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EXPERIENCE SOMETHING NEW: young people will be offered the opportunity to try out a new hobby, sport or activity, to be creative, to sign up for a new class or club, to do something practical or to learn some simple relaxation techniques.
Comhairle na nÓg are youth councils in the thirty one local authority areas of the country. Comhairle na nÓg is designed to enable young people to become involved in the development of, and have a voice on, the services, policies and issues that affect them in their local area.
TOOLS: we feel it is important to give young people some simple tools to use in their everyday lives to manage their own mental health National Launch of Let’s Go Mental: The national launch of Let’s Go Mental will take place in Dublin on Wednesday June 24th. Dublin Bus is supporting us in this initiative and has offered us the free use of one of their community buses to transport people to the launch. Festivities will kick off outside Leinster House where our branded bus will be parked for a photo‐call with the National Executive members, the media and members of the Oireachtas. The bus will then transport everyone to the official launch venue ‐ the Science Gallery on Pearse Street. Our campaign is being endorsed by a number of celebrity ambassadors representing the
world of sport, music and the arts. Their role is to promote the key messages behind Let’s Go Mental and to support our ongoing social media campaign in the lead‐up to the regional events. We are lucky to have had the support of a Steering Committee of experts who have worked closely with us on this campaign and have offered invaluable advice and support. Our thanks to Dr Tony Bates, Director, Headstrong; James Barry, Youth Engagement Officer, Headstrong (now Health Promotion Project Officer, NYCI); Anne O’Connor, Director of Mental Health Services, HSE; Dr Brendan Doody, CAMHS Advisor, HSE; Gerry Raleigh, Director, National Office for Suicide Prevention; Elaine Geraghty, Chief Executive Officer, ReachOut.com; Clive Byrne, Director, Association of Principals and Deputy Principals and Professor Dympna Devine, School of Education, UCD. To find out more about our campaign, check out our Facebook page Let’s Go Mental 2015. You can also help us to promote the events by using the hashtag #LetsGoMental2015. Karyn Farrell, National Coordinator for Let’s Go Mental
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Comhairle na nÓg are overseen and funded by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.
Dail na nÓg and the Comhairle na nÓg National Executive: Dáil na nÓg is the national Youth parliament of Ireland for 12‐17 year olds. It takes place once every two years and is funded by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and hosted by its Minister. The theme for the day is voted upon in advance by young Comhairle members from all over the country. On the day, delegates have the opportunity to discuss the theme in greater detail and come up recommendations for changes that need to happen in this area. Contrary to popular belief, it is not just a one‐day event! The recommendations from Dail na Óg are followed up for two years by the Comhairle na nÓg National Executive. The National Executive is made up of one representative from each of the 31 local authority areas. They are supported and advised in the progression of their recommendation by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and the participation team from Youth Work Ireland and Foróige. 15
Poppintree Health For ALL A community youth work response to the health and wellbeing of young people.
Poppintree Youth Project Poppintree Youth Project (PYP) is the lead agency of Poppintree Health for All’s (PHFA) new initiative focusing on youth mental health. PHFA is a local interagency committee, established in September 2013, which brings together agencies and groups working in the catchment area of Poppintree, Ballymun1. The aim of this interagency group is to address health inequalities by improving the health of children, young people and adults living and working in Poppintree. The interagency group meets monthly to formulate collective action to address health needs and promote the health and well‐being among those who attend and work in the schools, projects and organisations in the area. Over the last two year PHFA has inspired not only PYP but all the groups and organisation working in the area to prioritise health and well being as a key factor in improving quality of life.
The Ballymun Health Strategy2 informs the work of Poppintree Health for All. This strategy highlighted ‘dealing with stress’ as one of the major health concerns in the community. The report also noted that good mental health and well‐being depends on equipping communities to deal with the issues affecting them. Poppintree Health For All’s new initiative is the result of a successful application to the HSE Health Promotion and Improvement Division. Poppintree Youth Project as lead agency applied on behalf of the interagency group for funding to resource a yearlong programme, which aims to: • Highlight and promote the importance of good mental health and well‐being; • Build the capacity of all those in the Poppintree community to address their mental health and well‐being needs; • Inform, dispel myths and raise awareness regarding the different aspects of mental health and wellbeing;
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• Develop skills and competences in dealing with and managing mental health and well‐being e.g. coping with stress and mindfulness skills; • Up‐skill the staff of the PHFA affiliated organisations regarding best practice; • Challenge the social and economic factors which impact negatively on individual and collective mental health and wellbeing. The successful application provides much needed resources for the training of staff and volunteers and workshops and programmes on wellbeing, mindfulness and tackling youth mental health issues. The grant will also fund a weeklong mental health awareness week. The interagency group can now confidently approach skilled and qualified personnel and not worry about not being able to afford the best. The community in Poppintree deserves that. Up until now PHFA has set monthly challenges e.g. healthy hearts in the month of February or walking more in the month of March, with each member of PHFA going back to their own organisation or group to raise awareness, host healthy activities/programmes on the agreed collective theme. This new yearlong challenge moves the work of PHFA up a gear. The commitment to collaborative practice and partnership has resulted in both young and the not so young beginning to take their health and wellbeing seriously.
Fea tur ed PHFA knows that many of the Ar factors impacting on health and ticl e wellbeing are totally outside of its control i.e. poverty, but it is taking control of what it can change and by working together, raising awareness and giving people the supports, information and opportunity to address health concerns, PHFA aims to make Poppintree a healthier place for all. For more information contact Fran McVeigh at Poppintree Youth Project, www.pyp.ie
1 PHFA Interagency group members ‐ Poppintree Early Education Centre; Poppintree Youth Project; Poppintree Aisling Project; Ballymun Garda Youth Diversion Project; Dublin City Council Sports Development; HSE Health Promotion; St Joseph’s National School: St Margaret’s Traveller Primary Health Care; Ballymun Whitehall Area Partnership. 2 Ballymun Health Strategy 2012 was developed following a Participatory Research and Action (PRA) programme coordinated by the Ballymun Whitehall Area Partnership, which assessed key factoring impacting on health and wellbeing and searched for solutions and recommendations
Self‐Care to Self‐Awareness Workshop Date: Tuesday 30th June, Youth Work Ireland National Office Cost: €70 (includes refreshments and a light lunch) Facilitator: Ger McHugh This workshop is for those working in the community, voluntary or statutory sector in demanding, high pressure or stressful environments with vulnerable clients who require a caring response, professional support and targeted interventions. The day will equip participants with the knowledge and skills to employ self‐care techniques in their personal and professional life. It aims to help participants identify ways to prevent or reduce stress and develop their self‐awareness in relation to reactions & responses to challenging work situations. With this self‐awareness they will be better equipped to identify ineffective practices and engage in reflective practice to understand and address the needs of service users.
Some areas covered will include: What does self‐care and self‐awareness mean? Explore situations of pressure or stress and examining the impact of this on their work and wellbeing. Recognise the main characteristics of resilience/burnout and develop a personal self‐care plan. Identify formal/informal supports available & practice relaxation and basic mindfulness techniques.
Booking can be made at www.youthworkireland.ie/events or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Tools for Engaging in Mental Health Issues with Young People Rachel Kelly One of the key issues facing young people today is Mental Health. A lot of the challenges within this issue for young people is to find ways to cope and deal with their own mental health. Youth services can therefore play an important role in providing young people with the tools they need to engage in their positive mental health. While many young people are able to make the transition from childhood to adulthood without any major difficulties, there is a high number for whom it is a distressing experience. During this time young people face many stressful experiences which can challenge their coping abilities. This can then result in a number of self‐destructive coping mechanisms which can have a negative impact on young people’s mental health. A major part of youth work’s role is therefore to raise a greater awareness with young people about how they mind their positive mental health. One of the ways in which we have done this in the Finglas Youth Resource Centre (FYRC) is through facilitating wellness workshops which focus on young people being more mindful. The idea is to highlight the importance of taking time out to focus on the little things in your everyday life and try to learn not to take them for granted. In our busy society today it is sometimes hard to take a few minutes to yourself and do something that you enjoy. Therefore it is important that we as practitioners do this and also highlight the importance of doing this with young people to mind our mental wellbeing. Myself and a colleague first began looking out how we would bring this type of mental well‐being technique into the lives of young people when a local school contacted use about delivering some sort of mental
health awareness workshops with their young people during their positive wellness week. We thought about the young people we work with and some of the issues that contribute negatively to their mental health and what maybe we could do to try get them to focus on the positive things that influence positively on their mental health. Therefore we designed and delivered a workshop to support young people around looking at and engaging in their own positive mental health. The aim for us was for the young people to leave with a greater awareness about how they can mind their own positive mental health in a way that they know how to. The workshop began with a focus around what mental health means to get an understanding within the group of what we would be looking at. We then moved on to focus more on feelings and emotions and how there are so many and how people go through so many different feelings everyday. This was to get the group to identify how they might feel at certain times and what they may do when they feel a certain way. We then moved into identifying the little things within the group’s life that they may take for granted but actually they really enjoy. We then finished with using a mindful exercise using chocolate to get the group to understand what we meant about enjoying little things. We explained that a body check can help focus your mind on being in the here
and now and not focusing on the past or future. We asked everyone to sit in their seats, feet flat on the floor sitting up straight in their chairs and then went through a body check from toes to head all the while getting the young people to focus on their breathing. While they were in a relaxed place we did the chocolate exercise, which again brought the focus back onto the small things and really learning to appreciate things that happen very regularly. The workshops we delivered were very successful and seemed to really work with the young people. Since we ran them in the school we have since delivered the same workshop to some of our groups within the service. I myself have seen the benefit of using the tool of mindfulness with young people around their mental health; therefore I went on to look at getting some further training in the area. NYCI and the Sanctuary have been running ‘Moment to Moment’, a very successful training course around mindfulness and mediation for the last few years. I would highly recommend this training for any practitioner interested in developing their knowledge and skills around using this technique both in their own practice and with young people, as I have found it very beneficial.
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Youth Engagement with an Emerging Irish Mental Health Early Intervention Programme Jigsaw Dr Aileen O’Reilly & Dr Lynsey O’Keeffe
Headstrong: The National Centre for Youth Mental Health is a registered charitable organisation which engages in service delivery, research and engagement related to the mental health needs of young people aged 12‐25 in Ireland. Jigsaw, the service delivery arm of Headstrong, is an early intervention youth mental health service that supports young people to achieve better mental health and wellbeing. The core objectives of Jigsaw are to: (a) ensure young people have access to youth friendly, integrated mental health supports when and where they need them in their community. (b) build the confidence and capacity of front line workers/volunteers to promote and support young people’s mental health. (c) promote community awareness around youth mental health by enhancing the mental health literacy of the community and reducing the stigma surrounding mental health. Jigsaw is currently established in ten communities in Ireland (i.e., Clondalkin, Donegal, Dublin 15, Galway, Kerry, Meath, North Fingal, Offaly, Roscommon and Tallaght). To date, almost 11,000 young people have been supported by Jigsaw, suggesting that that there is a need for this type of early intervention, primary care mental health service in Ireland. We recently examined data relating to the 2,420 young people who engaged with Jigsaw in 2013. Our analysis revealed that 56% of this sample were female, although the
high number of young males engaging with the service is positive as many studies have shown men are traditionally less likely to seek support from mental health services. In addition, most of the young people supported through Jigsaw were 15‐17 years old: an age group traditionally underserved in Irish mental health services. These young people were referred to Jigsaw from a variety of sources, most often self, parent, GPs, secondary schools and adult mental health services. However, it is worth noting that a significant number of referrals were received from community organisations (6%) and youth services (2.4%). With regards to the mental health needs of young people, this analysis showed young people presented to Jigsaw with a range of difficulties. For females, the most common presenting issues were anxiety, family problems and isolation from others. On the other hand, for males the most common presenting issues were anxiety, anger and family problems. Finally, analysis of young people’s levels of distress revealed many young people presented to Jigsaw with high levels of distress, although this was significantly reduced after engaging with Jigsaw. One strength of the Jigsaw model is that it recognises the complexity of the lives of young people and addresses this by connecting with their communities through the education, youth and justice sectors. One way that this occurs is through delivery of day long evidence informed workshops, Understanding Youth
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Mental Health (UYMH) and Minding Youth Mental Health (MYMH). UYMH focuses on building participants’ understanding of young people’s mental health and how to recognise the signs of mental health difficulties, while MYMH focuses on promoting good mental health in young people and building their resilience. The audience for these workshops typically comprises of individuals working in a variety of settings such as community police, youth workers, teachers/guidance counsellors, sports club coaches, community workers and allied health professionals with limited knowledge about youth mental health. To date, we have delivered 76 UYMH workshops to 1,360 adults and 15 MYMH work‐ shops to 224 adults around Ireland. For further information about these workshops or the Jigsaw service, please see our website www.headstrong.ie
Further Reading Illback, R., Bates, T., Hodges, C., Galligan, K., Smith, P., Sanders, D., & Dooley, B. (2010). Jigsaw: Engaging communities in the development and implementation of youth mental health services and supports in the Republic of Ireland. Journal of Mental Health, 19(5), 422‐35. Illback, R., Bates, T., (2011). Transforming youth mental health services and supports in Ireland. Early Intervention in Psychiatry 5(1), 22‐7. Peiper, N., Illback, B., O'Reilly, A., Clayton, R. (2015). Latent class analysis of need descriptors within an Irish youth mental health early intervention programme: Toward a typology of need. Early Intervention in Psychiatry. Advanced online publication. DOI: 10.1111/eip.12213 O’Keeffe, L. O’Reilly, A., O’Brien, G., Buckley, R., Illback, R. (2015). Description and outcome evaluation of Jigsaw: An emergent Irish mental health early intervention programme for young people. Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine, 1‐7. DOI: 10.1017/ipm.2014.86
“Integration and Me” Joanna Siewierska When seven year old me arrived in Ireland 11 years ago, I never thought that I would be involved in organising a nationwide festival to celebrate Polish ‐ Irish cultural diversity. Yet there I was, one of the organisers of the Polska‐Eire festival's key events with Youth Work Ireland, the conference for young people, 'Integration ‐ is it working?'
In secondary school, I began to understand integration a bit more. Nowadays, I can often see how people of the same nationality or race almost naturally become friends and spend time together. While some mix well with everybody else too, others stay in those small groups, and that's not good integration. I think the issue of poor integration is not addressed enough. We might talk about racism or even I came to Ireland on the 24th of xenophobia, but what about simply August 2004, with absolutely no looking at whether young people are English and no idea what was ahead. mixing well with each other, and if I still remember the great efforts of not, what are the barriers? my first primary school teacher to try and teach me English. She used In my opinion, integration is about to spend entire afternoons with me how well we all work together and reading stories word by word, acting about making our society inclusive. them out with theatrical gestures It is about treating everyone equally and facial expressions, trying her but not about seeing everyone as absolute best to make me the same. On the contrary, it's about understand. And you know what, as respecting each individual's silly as it must have looked to the background and heritage, and not rest of the class, it worked. judging them based on that. It's about getting to know everyone in
the same way, giving them equal opportunities and including them in different activities, regardless of their nationality, gender, religion, race etc. When it comes to immigrants and second generation immigrants, it is also about giving people the freedom to explore and express their identity. It's important that people are able to maintain their culture and traditions in the new environment, if they chose to do so, and they shouldn't be treated differently because of this. We need to look around and see the contribution that immigrants and second generation immigrants are making to Irish society and to realise that in order to make the most of our potential as a society, we need good integration. By mixing with each other and making everybody feel like they belong, we can build a much stronger and happier society. In order to achieve this, we need to improve education about other
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cultures and promote integration of new communities in schools and local communities. Thanks to the Polska‐Eire festival and Youth Work Irelands involvement, this process can start happening. There were two integration themed conferences during the festival, one for young people and another, looking at sport as a medium for integration. I was involved in organising the one for young people and was very excited to hear what the delegates had to say about their experiences of integration. These events were a good starting point for the conversation about integration and what needs to be done to improve it. Next, a strategy for supporting integration locally and nationally needs to be drawn up
to make sure that Ireland can make the most out of its diverse, multicultural society. I know that this is something that the Minister is quite anxious about as he is responsible for the development of the National Integration Strategy. Polska‐Eire highlighted the contribution of non‐Irish populations to Irish society and I hope that it will prompt everyone to start thinking about integration and inclusion in society and what can be done to make it better. For me, good integration means that today, after ten years in Ireland, I feel very much at home here and I know that I belong. It's important that we improve integration, in particular for young people, in order to help them be the best they can be and to make them feel safe and happy in Ireland; their new home. I
You ng Per son ’s
can't wait to see the Vie outcomes of the w festival and I hope that we will all continue talking about and improving integration long after it.
Joanna is currently studying for her Leaving Certificate and was a member of Voices of Youth Group.
This article was originally published in the journal.ie
Ideas in Action: Strengthening the Links between Theory and Practice. Tuesday June 9th 2015 Breaffy House Hotel, Castlebar, Co. May This free interactive workshop will introduce the Ideas in Action in Youth Work resource, developed by CES. This two‐part resource has been designed to help practitioners in planning their work, putting that planning into practice, and evaluating the results. The workshop will cater for a diverse range of users including: Practitioners: in responding to the NQSF and seeking to improve their practice. Line managers: in supporting front line workers to develop practice. ETB Officers: In assisting practitioners to fulfil the requirements of the NQSF. Trainers: in assisting workers to develop skills and knowledge. Academics: in teaching students about the links between theory and practice. Students: in developing their understanding of theory. Content will include: Theory, Theorists, Guidelines and Models of Youth Work Practice, Continuous Improvement Cycles, Values and the Uses of Evidence.
Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis. Bookings can be made at www.youthworkireland.ie/events or by emailing email@example.com
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RESEARCH Review A person-centred analysis of the timeuse, daily activities and health-related quality of life of Irish schoolgoing late adolescents. Eithne Hunt, Elizabeth A. McKay, Darren L. Dahly, Anthony P. Fitzgerald & Ivan J. Perry. University College Cork Background In the last 50 years, the health of the world’s 1.2 billion adolescents has improved to a lesser extent than that of younger children. In fact, worsening mental health outcomes have been noted both in Ireland and internationally. Writing recently in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence Reed Larsen and Steve Tran noted that the daily lived experience of young people internationally confronts them with “more complex worlds, with more contractions and challenges” than ever before. Against this backdrop, recent policies call for increased attention to lifestyle risk factors in adolescence and the causes of disease. This focus is because important determinants of health and well‐ being are embedded in young people's daily behavior, as reflected in their time‐use. Indeed, how one lives out one’s daily life, what people do and their lifestyle is closely connected with health and quality of life. Given this, the promotion of healthy
lifestyles amongst young people is now particularly important to prevent the accelerating burden of non‐ communicable diseases in adulthood. Obviously, a first step in developing awareness, interventions and policies to support healthy lifestyles in young people is to understand how young people live their daily lives; identifying how young people use their time provides us with a significant insight in this regard.
Aim of the Study We aimed to identify holistic patterns, or profiles, of time spent across eight activity categories measured by time use diaries, and then relate any identified profiles to Health‐Related Quality of Life (HRQoL). Recently developed statistical methods were employed to examine the relationship between these time use profiles, or patterns and HRQoL as a long‐term outcome.
In 2007, we recruited a cross‐sectional, random sample of young people aged 15 ‐ 19 years in full‐time education who were living at home in County Cork, Ireland. A two‐stage stratified sampling strategy was employed. In the first stage, second‐level schools were randomly selected, from the governmental schools’ register, with probability of selection proportionate to enrolment. School principals were asked to provide consent and 28 of 37 selected schools (76%) agreed to participate. In the second stage, each school then identified one class group from the two designated years (Transition Year and Fifth Year), resulting in 1413 students being invited to participate. Written and verbal information for students and written information for parents was provided. Students and parents were required to complete the consent/assent form. Consent/assent was obtained for 731 students (52%) who were subsequently enrolled in the study. The focus of this study was the time use of participants measured during the school year. The six main activity categories were Personal Care, School/Study, Paid Work, Housework, Voluntary/Religious Activity, and Leisure. Students were provided with a 24‐hour diary with six main activity categories comprising 31 individual activities, which they were asked to use to
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Res ear ch Bri ef
measure their time use. In completing the diary, participants were asked to record their main (primary) activity for each block of 15 minutes of every day. Participants completed one diary for a weekday and one diary for a weekend day. The diary in our study was adapted from that used by the Irish Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) in their 2005 survey of Irish adults’ time use and such diaries are considered to have acceptable reliability and validity in time use research. In the diary we provided, the activity categories were in keeping with those used in adolescent time use surveys internationally.
Health‐related quality of life HRQoL was measured using the 52‐item KIDSCREEN questionnaire. This instrument was developed across Europe as a self‐report measure applicable for healthy and chronically ill children and young people (aged from 8 ‐ 18 years) and assesses 10 domains of HRQoL, namely “physical well‐being”, “psychological well‐being”, “moods and emotions”, “self‐perception”, “autonomy”, “parent relations and home life”, “social support and peers”, “school environment”, “social acceptance” and “financial resources”.
Results Any diaries or KIDSCREEN questionnaires that were poorly completed or incomplete were excluded. The analysis was thus performed on a sample of 311 males and 356 females. Mean age for males was 16.13 years, and mean age for females was 15.91 years.
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From our analysis we found that: • Distinct “profiles”, or patterns of adolescent time use were identified and some differences in HRQoL across profiles were found. That is, we found some differences in the quality of life of young people who fell into the different categories of time use. • Three profiles, or patterns of time use that emerged from the analysis of young men in the study were productive profile, a high leisure profile and an all‐ rounder profile. • The two female profiles of time use that we found were different from those of the young men, these time use profiles were a higher study/lower leisure and moderate study/higher leisure, were identified. • The quantitative and qualitative differences in male and female profiles support the gendered nature of adolescent time‐use. That is, young men and young women use their time differently. • No unifying trends emerged in the analysis of probable responses in the HRQoL domains across profiles. • Nonetheless, those associations that were statistically significant provide some tentative support to the association, for females, between overall HRQoL and a more balanced lifestyle. It is possible then that having a more balanced lifestyle for young women is connected to having a higher quality of life.
Key learning points relevant to youth work practice from the study A person‐centred analysis of the time‐use, daily activities and health‐related quality of life of Irish school‐going late adolescents. Some of the key learning point the authors have identified in relation to youth work practice include Young people can and need to be educated and supported to engage in a daily round of activities that enhance their health, meet their needs, and enable them to balance the demands of a 21st century lifestyle. Those working with young people to support their wellbeing should encourage them to consider how they spend their time across the full 24 hours of the day rather than examine time in activities in isolation. Importantly, balance does not suggest an equal allocation of time to necessary and desired activities. In her book An Occupational Perspective of Health, Anne Wilcock explains that “a balance of occupations across the sleep‐wake continuum and a variety throughout days and weeks to exercise a range of capacities; to meet the basic requirements for health; to provide meaning, purpose, satisfaction, and belonging; and to encourage potentialities”. Supporting children and families to examine the way in which they engage in everyday activities of self‐care, work, and leisure is a more salient means of identifying behaviour change/modifications than simply focussing on nutrition and physical activity and allows for individuals to consider how they can embed health‐ enhancing behaviours within their daily routines. (Ziviani et al., 2010). The quantitative and qualitative differences in adolescent time use profiles suggest that policies and interventions need to be gender‐specific. This is recognised at an international level but needs to translate to policies and interventions in Ireland. Schools are important to the well‐being of young people. Writing in the Lancet in 2012, Russell Viner and colleagues and explain that in addition to “safe and supportive families”, “safe and supportive schools” are now deemed crucial for young people’s development and health. Schools are now included amongst the social determinants of adolescent health. Schools may well then be the ideal context to deliver interventions to support the health and well‐being of young people. The World Health Organisation (2014) encouraged a move beyond individual‐level interventions directed to a few health issues to provide more support for parents and schools to protect young people’s overall health. The complex relationships between time use profiles and HRQoL for the young people in this study suggest that policy and practice in health and education should prioritise interventions that address multiple risk and positive health behaviours.
Further Reading Hunt, E., McKay, E.A., Dahly, D., Fitzgerald, A.P., & Perry, I.J. (2014). A person‐centred analysis of the time use, daily activities, and health‐related quality of life of Irish school‐going late young people. Quality of Life Research, Nov 15, Early online. DOI 10.1007/s11136‐014‐0863‐9
Ziviani, J., Desha, L.N., Poulsen, A.A., & Whiteford, G. (2010). Positioning occupational engagement in the prevention science agenda for childhood obesity. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 57, 439‐441.
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Youth Games Youth Factor June 27-28 Athlone, Co. Westmeath
Bridging the Gap Exploring the potential for bringing older and younger LGBT people together ILC, 2011 This paper explores the interaction between age and sexual or gender identity and how these characteristics shape individuals‘ experiences, behaviours and attitudes. Specifically it is concerned with the issues facing older (65+) and younger (under 25) LGBT individuals, the divisions and commonalities between them and whether there is potential to bring the two groups together for mutual benefit. Despite being at different ends of the age spectrum, many older and younger LGBT people share experiences of marginalisation within society and discrimination by support services. They may also be dealing with some specific mental and physical health concerns, the risks of which may be heightened by their sexual or gender orientation. Traditional mainstream interventions do not appear to offer adequate support to these two groups. However it appears that intergenerational projects could play a valuable role in addressing some of the needs and concerns of marginalised individuals. The potential to bridge a gap, transform attitudes and support vulnerable individuals is significant.
Through the Looking Glass A guide to empowering young people to become advocates for gender equality. NWCI & The Y Factor, 2014 This toolkit brings together the learning from The Y Factor’s experiences working with groups of young people in the formal and informal education sector. The Y Factor‘s education and youth group‐based programme supports learning about gender equality and inequality by developing and delivering discussion‐based awareness‐raising 26
New Library Resources in the IYWC programmes in schools and youth projects. The project promotes discussion on gender equality issues; empowerment of young people and advocacy on equality and social justice. This toolkit is aimed at any person working with young people in a formal or informal education settings. The toolkit aims at increasing the knowledge, understanding and confidence of youth practitioners to plan and deliver activities for young people that help them to identify and discuss issues related to equality between women and men. It also aims at providing tools to ensure that gender equality remains a core consideration at all levels within formal and informal education settings.
#UPTOUS Anti‐bullying Kit Webwise, 2010 The #UPTOUS kit aims to empower students to take action against cyber bullying, through their own positive actions and behaviours and through helping to create an anti‐ cyber bullying environment on a school‐wide level and in the wider world. Students using this resource will have opportunities to empathise with victims of bullying and reflect on how online bullying differs from other forms of bullying. The interactive poster activity is a fun and easy way of Scene Magazine
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spreading anti‐bullying messages while making positive, creative and innovative use of technology. Using the poster grids, stickers and cut‐out shapes provided in the Kit young people can design colourful posters with anti‐bullying slogans.
with support and the correct learning environment and the application of a youth work approach can significantly address and overcome the barriers young people face to realising their potential.
Report Card 2015 Youth Works A framework for effective interventions with young people not in education, training or employment YCNI, 2013 The Youth Works programme was funded by the International Fund for Ireland and aims at identifying and targeting 16‐17 year olds not in education, employment or training and with no or low form qualifications, within communities suffering the greatest economic and social deprivations. Using these economic concerns as a platform the programme sought to build stronger relationships with other 16‐17 year olds in similar circumstances whilst at the same time enabling them or re‐engage with formal education and training and help them fulfil their potential. This report illustrates how the Youth Works programme,
Is Government keeping its promises to children? Children’s Rights Alliance, 2015 This is the seventy report card and as in previous years a panel of high level external assessors graded the Government’s performance in 2015 in fulfilling their own stated commitments to children in the Programme for Government. The Report Card is an established account ability tool for the CRA, its members as well as an important information resource for politicians, policy makers, service providers, NGO and academics. This year the Government is awarded an overall C grade reflecting a satisfactory attempt to date, though children remain wanting. The Government has consistently performed well in aspects of the right to education and the right to protection from abuse and neglect.
These and other resources are available from the IYWC’s OPAC Library www.youthworkireland.ie/youth-work-centre/library-catalogue1
Online Version of Scene Magazine From January 2015 hard copies of Scene Magazine will be available ONLY on a subscription basis for a fee of €20 per year (4 editions). Free electronic version of each edition will be available electronically from the online platform www.issuu.com If you would like to receive a hard copy in the post on a quarterly basis please complete and return the enclosed subscription form or contact firstname.lastname@example.org Free copies will continue to be provided at IYWC and Youth Work Ireland events and to institutions and organisations on an archive basis.
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Scene Magazine is an practice based publication written by and for youth workers. This edition features Mental Health as its main theme, and...
Published on May 27, 2015
Scene Magazine is an practice based publication written by and for youth workers. This edition features Mental Health as its main theme, and...