The Boost project is being delivered by Slough-based charity Together As One, working in partnership with Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS). Boost is part of the UK Youth Fund’s Thriving Minds – an ambitious grant programme for projects designed to improve mental health support and provision for young people.
Currently running as a pilot project, Boost draws on the evidence base linked to the Welcome Trust’s Active Ingredients to prevent or treat youth anxiety and depression and connect young people to local positive activities via the voluntary sector. The project offers young people waiting for or accessing help from CAMHS a menu of extra support. This starts early in the young person’s journey and overlays existing clinical pathways, thus helping prevent the further deterioration individuals often experience while on waitlists.
The support Boost offers combines a person-centred, Youth Work approach with therapeutic input from clinical colleagues. Young people are helped to develop stronger relationships and form new social reconnections through positive activities. A focus on recovery and resilience equips young people with the knowledge and skills to become their own agents of change.
A Boost pilot team composed of a Mental Health (MH) Youth Worker and two Mental Health Youth Support Workers is currently working alongside CAMHS to help young people gain:
control (through goal setting)
understanding (through psychoeducation)
opportunity (through access to positive activities)
hope (through their relationship with a trusted MH Youth Worker/Youth Support Worker)
Brighter Futures helped Together As One to bid for the Thriving Minds funding and are now supporting the Boost project with additional capacity to assist with the early stages of implementation.