Bouncing Back building resilience in our young people in Wales!
As Action for Children marks Mental Health Awareness Week (1-7 Feb), the charity’s latest mental health programme for young people in Wales, Bouncing Back, has shown 90% of the 1,243 pupils reached so far feel they know when they need to ask for help after completing the sessions. 92% of pupils said they were confident who they can ask for help with 71% reporting their confidence had improved.
The Bouncing Back programme, funded by Welsh Government, consists of two 1-hour sessions held a week apart. The sessions are delivered by trained practitioners, in line with Covid-19 requirements and can be delivered face-to-face in a classroom of up to 30 pupils per group or digitally via Microsoft Teams Classroom for up to 10 pupils per group.
At the end of each Bouncing Back programme, each participant receives a Mental Health First Aid Kit, providing them with resources that support them to manage their mood and sustain improvements in their emotional wellbeing. The process also supports us to identify those young people who may need a higher-tier intervention.
Caryl Dyer, Action for Children’s Bouncing Back service coordinator, said: ‘We have had some tremendous feedback in our evaluation report with pupils and teaching staff showing great enthusiasm for the programme. They have developed a shared understanding of emotional wellbeing, increased confidence and self-esteem as well as being given more information about how to manage their emotional wellbeing with tools to support them to become more resilient.
‘Critically, these young people now have a greater awareness of how and when to seek further support for their mental health and emotional wellbeing. It is clear to us that these outcomes are critical in helping young people mature into emotionally intelligent, resilient and confident adults. We are seeing great results with Bouncing Back and as we highlight Mental Health Awareness Week, we are actively seeking continued funding to enable the programme to be delivered to all young people who need it.’
Bouncing Back was developed on the back of the successful Blues Project and has been rolled out across Wales, delivered in English and Welsh. Action for Children is also working with the Ospreys rugby region in delivering the programme in schools and rugby clubs in the area, bolstering the charity’s pioneering work in the field of children’s mental health.
Karen Yates, Associate Assistant Headteacher and Year 7 Learning Coordinator at Tredegar Comprehensive school, said:
The Bouncing Back programme was rolled out at the beginning of the autumn term for Year 7 and having worked with Action for Children with the Blues Programme, I had no doubt this would benefit our young people so much. Year 7 were chosen for the Bouncing Back programme specifically because of the huge disruption they’ve experienced due to the pandemic at the end of their primary school life and into Year 7. This has been an unsettling and turbulent time for many of our Year 7 pupils who experienced a very different transition to years past and they were faced with a huge challenge in settling into a new school.
Bouncing Back has really complemented the work we’ve undertaken as a school during our health and wellbeing lessons and through PSE. All pupils engaged in a two-week programme that aimed to give our young pupils the tools to cope with challenge in everyday stresses as well as equipping them with simple strategies to foster independence and resilience. At the end of both sessions, it was such a joy to see the pupils smiling and literally bouncing out of the classroom, upbeat and energised.
The programme was just outstanding, and the results were outstanding too. We now see a group of 11 and 12-year-olds who are much more ready to solve problems independently, work together to support each other as a team and are much more willing to accept challenge and change.’
Action for Children has been able to offer Bouncing Back to other services run by the charity including young carer projects supporting children and young people particularly badly hit by the pandemic.
Oliver accessed Bouncing Back through Action for Children’s Bridgend Young Carers service. He said: ‘The Bouncing Back sessions have helped me learn how to deal with certain situations where you might feel sad or down and I know where to get help if I need it.’
Evan from the same service added: ‘Bouncing Back has helped me understand how I can deal with stressful situations like lockdown. It’s also helped me understand how and where I can get help.’
For more information,
Follow us on Twitter @cymru_AFC