Category Archive: Leisure and Therapeutic Activity Ideas

There are well-timed behavioural rewards and endorsements built into the ward programme to encourage young people to keep on track. For example, after a session of education or group therapy there is always a break during which the young people have a drink and free time.

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The list is endless!

“We have musical instruments, computer game consoles, internet, arts and crafts activities, board games, DVD’s and books.  The list is endless!”

 

 

 

 

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Evening and weekend activities

“Young people can get involved in our evening and weekend activities including football, badminton, board games, arts and crafts, gym sessions, basketball, quiz nights, film nights and hair and beauty sessions. Staff work with them to draw up an individualised activity plan so they can structure their week and plan their time with us.”

 

 

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Games, cards, Wii

“Young people can play board games, cards, play on the Wii and spend time in their room.”

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Normalising the Experience for Young People 

While young people wanted more activities to keep them busy, chatting with staff about normal, everyday subjects was seen as very important. An inpatient stay is not a usual part of development, so many staff acknowledged the importance of normalising the experience for young people. Some young people found a constant focus on ‘mental health’ detrimental, and wanted their treatment and care to be integrated into the context of their lives.

Source: Where Next by YoungMinds

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Music therapy reduces depression in children and adolescents

Researchers have discovered that music therapy reduces depression in children and adolescents with behavioural and emotional problems.

Read more here

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“Time to Shine”

The Wirral CAMHS Primary Mental Health Worker Team developed a skill-based, five-week Mindfulness Group. The group was originally called the Mindfulness Group, but the young people involved weren’t keen on this name and quickly renamed the group “Time to Shine”. The group started as a result of feedback we’d had from other young people that had been involved in our CAMHS service, who suggested there was lots to gain from meeting other young people in similar situations and having a forum of mutual support and understanding.  Having listened to the young people over four months, we ran two Mindfulness groups for any young person between 12-16 presenting with mild-moderate anxiety or low mood.

More: here

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Listening for Holistic Wellbeing

It’s well known that music can lift our spirits; but now science has shown it also has a physical effect on our bodies. As we listen, music works on the autonomic nervous system, which is responsible for controlling blood pressure and heartbeat as well as the limbic system, responsible for feelings and emotions. A review of 23 studies involving almost 1,500 people found music helped to reduce blood pressure, heart rate and anxiety in heart disease patients.  Music can benefit our psychological wellbeing too. Research from the University of Missouri, published in The Journal Of Positive Psychology, found for the first time that upbeat music could have a very positive effect on our wellbeing.

More: psychologies.co.uk

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Activity Coordinators

Activity Coordinators are in effect therapy assistants. They work within Occupational Therapy and support the Occupational Therapist by contributing to assessments and providing feedback on the young people’s progress. They deliver a programme of therapeutic activities on a one-to-one basis or in groups, including living and social skills, independence and wellbeing, achieving goals, creative therapies, education, recreation and leisure, health and fitness, and cognitive skills like problem solving, to encourage and motivate young people during their stay on the unit.

From withuinmind.nhs.uk

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 Creating A Living-Learning-Leisure Balance

The team works in partnership with each young person and their parents or carers to establish what treatment works best for them. They also encourage the young people to express themselves creatively and have established a successful arts programme. Young people also benefit from an on-site school and are encouraged to take part in a range of fun activities including cookery, IT and games, which not only enhances their treatment but also supports their rehabilitation by building confidence and developing social skills. The service also has access to the Woodland Retreat; an innovative on-site annexe for young people to use as a learning or leisure base.

From withuinmind.nhs.uk

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