Reach4Welling - Young Person Skills Group

Attending a group is a great opportunity to be able to take that first step to supporting yourself to manage your feelings and emotions when situations get difficult.

We do understand that for some young people starting something new, especially a group which is online, can be worrying. Any feelings of anxiety around attending the group are normal and most of the young people joining are going to feel this way at the start.

Here are the answers to young people’s most frequently asked questions, we hope will help you

Why am I being offered a group?

Once your referral into CAMHS Reach4Wellbeing (R4W) has been accepted you will be offered a place on one of our Skills Groups.

Referrals that have gone through other teams in CAMHS have been assessed by clinicians who specialise in children and young people’s mental health. The outcome is that a Skills Group is the best option within CAMHS to meet your mental health difficulties.

What are the positives to coming to a group?

Many young people who have already attended have been able to make the changes needed to support them in managing their own mental health.

Being part of a supportive environment.

Gives you the opportunity to work with and get to know other young people who are feeling the same way.

Can help to understand that although mental health difficulties can feel isolating no one is going through it on their own.

A CAMHS group can be just as good as one to one work.

But do not just take our word for it please access the link to hear comments from people who have already been to one.

Do I have to speak out loud or share personal information?

Our sessions are not talking therapy sessions and you will not be asked to share any personal information or discuss your feelings in the group.

Joining in with the activities and contributing to discussions will help you to feel better and have a more positive outcome.

The more people that join in and talk the more enjoyable the group becomes for everyone and the more you will get out of it. 

We do appreciate that talking out loud can be difficult and you can use the chat function to join in if it helps.

Using what you learn in the group can help you to have the courage and confidence to speak out loud as you learn how to think about and manage situations differently.

Even if you are not comfortable to talk out loud in session one it doesn’t mean you will still feel the same way in later ones.

Do I have to have my camera on?

Yes, it is important the young people who are attending the sessions have their cameras on throughout the session for a number of reasons:

  • It helps to build relationships within the group with your peers and R4W facilitators
  • We need to confirm and document that you have attended the whole session
  • We need to know that the young person who has been invited is the person attending the session due to safeguarding (keeping you and others safe)
  • It helps us to see if anyone is having any difficulties with the online programme or internet connections
  • It helps you to get the most out of the sessions

We understand that the thought of having your camera on may be scary and may even mean that you don’t want to come to the group – but before you decide please think about the following questions:

  • What is it about attending a group that you don’t want to do?
  • Is there anything about having your camera on that feels scary?
  • What’s the worst that can happen?
  • How likely is it that this worst-case scenario will happen?

There are ways to help you to manage any worries you might have about being on camera

The majority of the session has a shared PowerPoint on the screen, which limits the amount of other attendees you can see in the meeting.

For the most of the session you will only be able to view the case workers who are hosting and 2-3 others.

The other young people attending will also be restricted to this view.

You can change the view so that you cannot see your own camera image.

Move the camera further back or to a different angle, so that you are still in shot, but not the main focus of the image.

You can join the session a few minutes early to meet the caseworkers running the group, see the set-up of the meeting and settle in before the others arrive.

Think about something positive you do to help yourself in difficult situations, if you have something that works then you can use it during the session.

Be proud of yourself for attending the session and think about how you can reward yourself.

What happens when my group is in school or college time?

Schools are very supportive in helping their pupils to access help for their mental health and understand that time out of lessons is needed like any health appointment.

Please think about the sessions as being as important as any other health appointment you might be asked to attend.

CAMHS is a 9 – 5 service which means the latest time we offer a group is 4pm.

For afternoon sessions a parent or other trusted adult may have to collect you from school and take you home so that you can access the group.

If your session is in the morning you may have to go into school late.

Schools may be able to provide a quiet room and equipment so that you will be able to access the group, either you or your parents would organise this with them.

Some schools have reported they have problems accessing WebEx. This happens if they try to access it from a browser, however if the app is downloaded by their IT and they use Chrome it shouldn’t be affected by firewalls.

Information for 16’s and over

If you are aged 16 years and over, alternative support is available in the form of the MoodMasters courses.

The programme aims to provide a range of simple tools and techniques to help attendees manage life’s emotional ups and downs, more effective, cope better with everyday stresses and worries and improve their overall quality of life.

For future information Tel: 01905 766124 or email the Wellbeing hub