Children’s Health Scotland offers a Lothian based generic self-management project for children and young people with long term health conditions.
Two age specific programmes are available, one for children aged 8 to 11 and one for young people aged 12 to 17 years. Each programme consists of 6 workshops which focus on increasing mental and physical well-being. It also looks at how young people can manage stress, emotions, friendships, feelings, healthy eating, talking with parents/carers, teachers and health professionals.
Information for upcoming programme can be downloaded from the links below:
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What is Self-Management?
Self-management puts people living with long term conditions in ‘the driving seat’. It supports and encourages people to access information and to develop skills that will enable them to live their lives on their terms.
Self-management is not a replacement for health or other services. It’s about working with people who can provide the right support at the right time to enable individuals to choose how they want to live with a long term condition(s). Self-management does not mean having to manage alone without support. It enables people to make informed choices about how and when to draw on different kinds of support.
Self-management is a process in which people with long term illnesses are empowered to take charge of their condition and its impact on their quality of life. Self-management is not an individual action, specific treatment or service. It has to be tailored to each person’s needs, circumstances and wishes. It supports people to live full lives while dealing with the reality of living with a long term condition.
For more information on self-management, check out the Alliance website: www.alliance-scotland.org.uk.
What Happens at Workshops?
Our project team, Simita Kumar and Dani Cochrane provide a programme of self-management workshops (three full days or six half days). The sessions are directly shaped by the young people participating and include fun activities such as music therapy, bowling, pizza and movie nights, peer support training and healthy cooking. The following list is not exhaustive and may vary depending on participants but sessions include:
- Understanding self-management and NHS structures
- Understanding and coping with emotion
- Communication: family, friends, health & education professionals
- Building confidence
- Resources needed to self-manage e.g. coping with stress, pain, healthy exercise and food.
- Engaging and socialising with peers. This will be both within and out with the workshops. We have recently introduced a WhatsApp Group chat facility which your group might be offered. Read more here about consent and ground rules for use.
What did our young people say?
The Self Management Programme was successfully evaluated externally. 84% of all children and young people, parents and clinicians interviewed reported an increase in confidence. Read the Executive Summary Report here.
Confidence before the Programme I was unable to leave the house, and now I do…
Feeling Different I feel better about myself being the different one.
Communication I dinna walk away from people any more, I stay and give a proper conversation
Included by Peers I get involved with others, I used not to… I started to do stuff with my friends.
Self Esteem I don’t care how people see me any more, the way I am the way I dress and stuff like that.
Talk Openly When people ask me certain questions to do with activities like walking – like why I’m not able to walk so far? I’m able to explain.
Decision MakingI know that I can go out and do stuff when I don’t feel quite as well.
Knowledge of Support I know about some of the things in the hospital you can get
- I could come here and talk about my illness and everyone could relate. MW
- That I could learn better ways of coping and could talk to people my age. CM
- I’m looking forward to coming back!
- “…Meeting people who understand what I’m going through…”
- “…Being able to relate to other young people with a condition like me…”
- “…I’ve gained more confidence around new people about talking about my condition…”
- Loved the fact he was with people that understood him and that he felt comfortable in the group. Parent of KP
- Parents weren’t included in the group at all, I think that was actually a very good thing, that made it focus on her and the other girls. She has been to so many appointments and places where I end up being the one that does the talking, but this is very much focused on her. Parent of CM
- It’s something that can be almost immediate rather than a six month wait for a psychology appointment. Diabetes Clinician
- Very helpful for the treatment I was giving because it reinforced anxiety management strategies such as breathing relaxation distraction. Guided Self Help Clinician
Want to know more about the project?
If you are a child or young person, parent or carer, or work in health, education or the voluntary sector in Lothian and would like more information, contact Simita Kumar or Dani Cochrane or call 0131 553 6553.