As part of the Making Waves Series, find out how Children’s Health Scotland has made an impact on self management in Scotland.
As nominee of the 2018 Self Management Champion of the Year Award, we want to share with you the learning and success from Children’s Health Scotland in supporting self management.
This blog focuses on a group of eight young people who participated in Children’s Health Scotland’s Self Management Programme from February to March 2018. These young people (Kieran, Rachel, Lucy, Olivia, Martin, Ellie, Ross and William) came together for the first time as part of the programme. They all have a range of physical health conditions and for some this can also have a lasting impact on their mental health.
The young people became true champions of change and self management by not only looking after themselves but for each other. A WhatsApp Group was set up to provide additional support for these young people that was monitored by staff however these young people did not need supervision as they motivated, advised and encouraged one another.
This included sharing experiences of bullying, dealing with anxieties, suggesting ways to overcome these via relaxation and mindfulness techniques and discussing self management practices to better take care of their physical health. They also discussed how they felt different and apart from young people without long term conditions however in the true spirit of champions they also discussed loving you they are and embracing these ‘quirks’ and uniqueness.
The group continues to support one another and would consider each other friends. They have gone from young people who started the programme with low self confidence and low self-esteem and at a place that they did not want nor felt comfortable to talk about their health conditions to young people who are supportive of each other and really provide that much needed peer support to each other. They have truly gone over and beyond to implement self management practices and indeed are true champions.
Apart from supporting each other, these young people took opportunities to share their experiences with the Minister for Mental Health (featured in a news segment around mental health in young people with long term conditions in collaboration with Mental Health Foundation); spoke to an audience of approximately 60 plus paediatricians and clinicians at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH Conference); shared their experience with their school to raise awareness about invisible conditions and the impact of this (including fundraising for their condition specific charity) and sharing their experience by doing a case study / story for Children Health Scotland’s newsletter.
Find out more about Children’s Health Scotland (this link will take you away from our website).