Are you looking for mental health support in Cardiff? Then The Blues Programme can help! We chat with Gemma about the service…
What’s your name and where do you come from?
We are The Blues Programme and we are from Action For Children, which is a national children’s charity. The Blues programme originated in America and has been identified as much needed support in the UK. Cardiff has been selected as one of the first three cities to role out the programme in the UK.
You’ve launched a new schools and college based group support service in Cardiff. What exactly is group based support?
Staff at the project have been trained in the evidence based Blues Programme that supports young people with early signs of depression and anxiety. The group sessions are an hour long and run over the course of 6 weeks. These will be delivered in schools and colleges to young people aged between 15-18. The group support will give participants skill to support improved mood, cope with anxiety and increase confidence.
Which schools and colleges do you work in?
We are able to work in all schools and colleges across the whole of Cardiff, so if you access a provision in Cardiff we can support you. Our first set of groups are running between November and December at St Illtyd’s Catholic High School, Cathays High School and ACT Training.
When someone comes to you what’s the process? Where do you meet?
As we work with schools and colleges a commitment needs to be made initially with them to provide the support within their setting. Once this has been achieved then the programme will be open to all young people within the age criteria of 15-18. To identify those who would benefit from or would like the support of the Blues Programme we ask all students of the correct age to complete a tick box questionnaire, based on mood and feelings. When completed we offer support to those who are recognised as having low mood or anxiety.
Do you meet during or after school/college?
We are flexible with timing and will work with both the schools and individuals interested in the programme as to when will be best suitable for them.
Can people self refer?
If individuals wish to have support from the Blues Programme then we would advise that they contact their wellbeing officer or pastoral support with in school, so that school staff are able to approach the Blues team on 02920 228033 to organise support.
I understand that you’re a new service but could you share some success stories?
This programme has had a great welcome in Cardiff and a number of school have signed up for the support for their pupils. Support is due to start with young people in November and we have six groups identified and ready to go. The programme has also recently been rolled out in High Wycombe in London and Worcester and these have also had a high uptake.
Are there any requirements to accessing your service?
There is the age restriction of 15-18 and we provide the support through educational setting.
What’s the name of your service again and how would someone get in contact with you?
We are the Blues Programme and you can contact the Blues Manager Lee Bridgeman on 02920 228033 or on firstname.lastname@example.org
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