PHE launches Rise Above for Schools programme

New schools programme to equip young people with coping strategies for modern life | PHE

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Image source: VFS Digital Design – Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Dynamic new resources for teachers will help build crucial life-skills for young people to boost their resilience and improve their mental health and wellbeing, as part of a new evidence-based programme for schools unveiled by Public Health England (PHE).

With around 1 in 5 young people experiencing cyberbullying and 1 in 3 reporting that their body was “too fat”, pupils aged between 11 and 16 will be taught how to cope with some of modern life’s most challenging issues, equipping young people with resilience skills that will help them throughout adulthood.

PHE has developed a series of new resources for secondary school teachers to use in their lesson plans as part of the Rise Above for Schools programme. The resources will help teachers to engage pupils with coping strategies about ‘traditional’ health issues, like smoking and alcohol, while also addressing some of the most challenging pressures young people face today in an ‘always on’ social media generation.

Read the full press release here

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Measuring Resilience in the Adolescent Population

The aim of this study was to create a valid tool to measure adolescent resilience, and to determine if this tool correlates with current participation in risk behaviors and prior adverse childhood events | Journal of Pediatrics 

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Study design: One hundred adolescents were recruited from primary care clinics in New Jersey for this cross-sectional study. A “7Cs tool” was developed to measure resilience using the 7Cs model of resilience. All participants completed the 7Cs tool, the Adverse Childhood Events Survey, and the Health Survey for Adolescents to identify current risk behaviors. Demographic and background data were also collected. To assess the validity of the 7Cs tool, Cronbach alpha, principal factor analysis, Spearman coefficients, and sensitivity analyses were conducted. The χ2 test and ORs were used to determine if any relationships exist between resilience and prior adverse childhood events and risk taking behaviors.

Results: Participants ranged from 13 to 21 years old (65% female). Internal consistency was established using Cronbach alpha (0.7). Lower resilience correlated with higher adverse childhood events (P = .008) and Health Survey for Adolescents scores (P < .001). Lower resilience was associated with increased problems in school (OR 2.6; P = .021), drug use (OR 4.0; P = .004), violent behavior (OR 3.7; P = .002), recent depression (OR 5.0; P < .001), and suicidality (OR 4.1; P = .009). Higher resilience was associated with participation in exercise (P = .001) and activities (P = .01).

Conclusions: The 7Cs tool is an internally validated tool that may be used to screen adolescent resilience and guide pediatricians’ counseling against risk behaviors. Further studies will evaluate resilience-building interventions based on results from this study.

Full reference: Barger, J. et al. (2017) Measuring Resilience in the Adolescent Population: A Succinct Tool for Outpatient Adolescent Health. Journal of Pediatrics. Published online: 10 July 2017

Building digital resilience

YoungMinds is calling for a new approach to ensure that the online world does not damage young people’s mental health.

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Image source: http://www.youngminds.org.uk/

Resilience for the Digital World’ is the report produced by YoungMinds and research and consultation company Ecorys calling for more focus to given to building young people’s digital resilience.

Digital resilience is defined as  the ability for young people to respond positively and deal with risks they encounter online – rather than focusing solely on protecting them from risky content.

The report, which consists of an Evidence Review and a Positioning Paper, recommends:

  • Every school should think through and take action on how they help children develop digital resilience and embed this in their Ofsted-inspected E-safety curriculum.
  • Young people should have engaging, accessible and age-appropriate information about mental health on the sites and apps that they use, so they can help themselves and each other if they are struggling.
  • Industry needs to take on their responsibilities to support young people who may be struggling with the effects of social media addiction – for example, by providing pop-ups signposting to resources and support.
  • Teachers, social workers and professionals working in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services should be skilled up to understand young people’s experience of the online world and how to help them to build their digital resilience.

The Duchess of Cambridge supports Children’s Mental Health Week 2016

HRH The Duchess of Cambridge, Royal Patron of children’s mental health charity Place2Be, has recorded a special video message to help launch Children’s Mental Health Week 2016 (8-14 February) which this year focuses on the importance of building children’s resilience and their ability to cope with life’s stressful situations.

For more information about the campaign, visit: www.ChildrensMentalHealthWeek.org.uk

In the video, primary school children from Salusbury School in London talk with The Duchess about the importance of being able to express their feelings openly and the value of having Place2Be in their school.