It’s Good to Talk! – NHS Tayside Adopts Mental Health Film as Training Resource

A groundbreaking mental health film, aimed at encouraging young people to talk about their feelings, is to be adopted by a NHS Tayside initiative which helps parents and carers broach sensitive subjects.

‘Foolish Optimism’, which was created by a group of young people in Dundee, premiered on World Mental Health Day, Wednesday 10 October 2018. The ‘Foolish Optimism’ roadshow is currently touring Scotland with the film, sparking discussions amongst a variety of different groups, from students and job centre staff to youth clubs and youth practitioners.

Now, NHS Tayside has chosen to adopt the film as part of its package of training resources.

Chika and Linzi with some of the Foolish Optimism Working Party.

Chika and Linzi with some of the Foolish Optimism Working Party.

 

Dr Drew Walker, Director of Public Health, NHS Tayside said, “This is a fantastic opportunity for NHS Tayside to work in partnership with the third sector to raise awareness of young people’s mental health using a resource that brings young people’s voices to the fore. This resource will allow parents and carers to explore what issues children and young people may be facing and will equip them with the knowledge and information to start conversations about mental health and offer support.”

Specifically, the film will be used by Speakeasy, a Dundee-based project which offers free courses helping parents and carers tackle the complex and often difficult issues of growing up, sex and relationships. The project provides information, resources and support to enable them to confidently take on the role of educators in their home. It is funded by NHS Tayside and delivered by trained facilitators from various disciplines including Community Learning & Development and Health. Over recent months, Speakeasy has delivered training to a range of individuals and groups including parents of children with additional supports needs, fosters carers, residential house staff and school and community groups.

Linzi McKerrecher, Speakeasy Co-ordinator and Health Development Worker said, “We were genuinely moved by the honesty of everyone who features in ‘Foolish Optimism’ and very quickly saw its wider potential as a training resource. We are therefore delighted to be including it as part of our future training events.

“Speakeasy is all about promoting positive communication with young people, and helping parents and carers understand what it’s like to be a young person today. We are also very keen for young people’s voices to be heard and the film does this very effectively.

“Traditionally, Speakeasy has focused on sexual health and relationships but wellbeing is a much wider topic and there is a clear link between mental health and maintaining positive relationships so the film will allow us to put another layer into the training we offer. It can be difficult to start tricky conversations but, by having discussions about mental health, stigmas, triggers and coping strategies, we can better support the parents and carers we train, giving them the confidence and techniques to support the young people in their care.”

The resource was handed over to NHS Tayside today at Gowrie Care’s ‘The WEB Project’ which works with young people aged 12-17, focusing on risk-taking behaviours due to alcohol/substance use. Work takes place through drop-ins, education sessions, one-to-one support, outreach/detached and awareness raising programmes.

Chika Inatimi, Front Lounge Project Leader added, “We are absolutely delighted that ‘Foolish Optimism’ is making such an impact with everyone who watches it. Since its launch, it’s been seen by hundreds of people and acted as the catalyst for some really honest and productive discussions amongst friends, youth clubs, students and people who work with vulnerable, ‘looked after’ young people. We are acutely aware that our film doesn’t solve everything but, by being included in Speakeasy’s training, it will most definitely make a difference amongst countless young people living amongst us, and those who live and care for them.”

‘Foolish Optimism’ was made possible by funding from the Year of Young People National Lottery Fund and Life Changes Trust.

For more information, and to watch the film, please visit https://www.foolishoptimism.org

Speakeasy is looking for schools, agencies and organisations who would like to get involved. For more information, contact Linzi McKerrecher (Speakeasy Co-ordinator) – email lmckerrecher@nhs.net or phone 07920 503897. Further information can be found at https://www.sexualhealthtayside.org or https://www.facebook.com/Speakeasy-1651052668445100/?ref=bookmarks

ENDS

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