Five young people involved in our mental health services in Oxfordshire have been busy getting creative to help others who may be feeling low as a direct result of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Together with clinicians, the youngsters who are aged between 11 and 16 have made a colourful hints and tips leaflet on Keeping Well and Looking After Yourself.

You can download it here

One said: “I really enjoyed it because we know that our ideas could help other people.” And another told us: “It gives us a chance to not only learn from each other but also share what helps us with other people.”

Participation and co-production are crucial to the work Oxford Health does in supporting our services users, getting their involvement in developing what we do and listening to their important views. After all they are the experts by experience.

Louis Headley, Trust governor and quality participation lead of our Oxfordshire Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service – better known as CAMHS – explained: “Our group wanted to do something special and thought suggestions of how to help yourself when feeling low would be really important.”

Each individual chose a colour, discussed their suggestions for key topics. They decided to cover talking, watching a film, doodling, creative writing, gardening and exercise. It even has some motivational phrases like ‘nothing is impossible. The word itself says I’m possible!’ And ‘You are enough just as you are!’

The team also wrote a personal message to their readers.

Hey,
We all know that sometimes life can be difficult. Feeling low is never a nice way to feel. So, we’ve decided as a group to share things that help us feel better when we’re not feeling ourselves.
 Each hint and tip has come from a group member who has found it useful when they aren’t feeling themselves. Our hints and tips, are now your hints and tips. Try them out, share them with others. It’s up to you. We hope they help you as much as they’ve helped us.
CPG
GOOD LUCK, CAMHS Participation Group

The CPG – CAMHS participation Group is made up of young people who have been involved with the service over different periods of time. Some have recently joined, others have been discharged and some are coming up to discharge.

Louis added: “So there is a mix of experiences, opinions and points in journeys. We started the group online  – a different approach because of the limitations with social distancing. but everyone has made a real effort to join. We always get the group together despite any technical difficulties.

“These guys have really put an awful lot of effort into it and are justifiably proud of what they have achieved.”