Healthy headspace workshops were first delivered at headspace Swan Hill late 2019, to help support young people attending the service to live a meaningful life. Healthy headspace workshops consist of nine sessions that provide psychoeducation and skill building exercises in a group format for young people and their parents/carers, where applicable. The workshops were developed using the Orygen Brief Intervention Toolkit, which provides low intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy modules on a range of topics related to mental health.
Topics covered in the healthy headspace workshops include:
- sleeping well and staying active
- building healthy strategies (mindfulness and relaxation)
- communicating with confidence
- understanding and accepting myself
- feed your mind (healthy thinking)
- understanding my feelings
- get into life (making time for your passions and building relationships)
Generally speaking, workshops take the following structure:
- participants complete survey
- welcome, housekeeping, group rules
- ice breaker
- review of previous week
- introduction to topic
- skill implementation
- complete evaluation form
- introduction of e-resources
- parents join for overview
Group-based interventions can achieve greater successful outcomes than individual therapy for young people. They also have the potential to be a more comfortable avenue for young people to seek help through, thus addressing some of the barriers young people perceive when seeking support. Furthermore, it is well known that peers have a large influence on young people’s behaviour. Healthy headspace workshops at other centres have found that skills are better implemented when young people observe peers utilising, and benefiting from the skills. Group settings also encourage young people to understand and accept that they are not alone in the challenges they may face. This can help to break down stigma and increase social connectedness in the community.
The model employed in these workshops allows for young people’s parents and carers to be active participants in the care of their young person. Families “can play an important role in supporting a young person’s recovery as they possess valuable knowledge and resources that will assist in the treatment of the young person” (Family and friends inclusive practice handbook, headspace National). Facilitators will aim to support and strengthen the relationships between the young person and their family throughout the workshops.