HandsOnScotland

Published on 17 Oct 2008
This article originally appeared in Care Appointments magazine in their Webwatch section.

The HandsOnScotland website describes itself as a toolkit of helpful responses to encourage children and young people's emotional well-being. It's designed to offer practical information and techniques to help people who work with children respond helpfully to troubling behaviour, build up their self-esteem and promote their positive mental well-being.

This website was developed by Playfield Institute (NHS Fife) in partnership with Barnardo's and the University of Dundee. It was commissioned by HeadsUpScotland, the national project for children and young people's mental health.

One of the reasons the site was commissioned was as a positive response to the long waiting times before children or young people with behavioural problems can be seen by a specialist Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMH) worker. Many frontline workers are left to manage troubling behaviours or issues in young people for a considerable amount of time. The topics covered by the website were developed to address the behaviours highlighted by a consultation with frontline workers', e.g. sleep problems and self-harm. It provides extensive information on general behaviour, management skills (such as reward techniques), as well as information on how best to talk to children and young people about their problems (e.g. solution focused talk).

The site is well designed and clearly signposted with an index of topics from anger, through loss, to victims of bullying. Each topic has a list of possible situations and issues and some very helpful responses that people working with children might make. Many of the topics include short video clips of mental health professionals discussing some of the issues related to that topic.The site is aimed at being a practical and reassuring resource for people working with children rather than a repository of research-based knowledge for specialist mental health workers. However, even specialists will find the content useful as a reminder and as a very useful resource for parents and carers.

Visit the site: HandsOnScotland

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