Members and guests of TAP gathered once again at the Friend’s Meeting House in Bath Place on 16th November for the widely anticipated Talk by Johnny Scott entitled `Mental Health – A Young Person’s Perspective.
Co-Chair Andrew Wilcox introduced Johnny who is from the Somerset NHS Child Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS). The organisation was created in 1995 and has seen a huge increase in demand for it’s services ever since, although the 2018 CAMHS is a very different service than the 1995 version. Johnny has worked for CAMHS for around three years and strives to develop the service using the experiences and feedback of it’s clients. His role is unique in as much as he doesn’t work clinically with the young people but helps them find their voice. Listening to his young client’s experiences he then feeds back to managers about ways in which the service can involve and change to best serve it’s clients. The organisation offers numerous types of therapy which includes Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy, Psychotherapy, Family Therapy and Art Therapy.
Johnny was accompanied by a group of young people who had been helped by CAMHS, within it’s `Participation` group scheme, some of which were now volunteering themselves as helpers. Participation groups build self esteem and confidence and give the young people something to get involved in and to look forward to as well as being a social outlet. The groups can be used until the age of eighteen.
As the presentation continued all the young people bravely took to the floor in turn and recounted their own personal stories which included anxiety, anorexia, borderline personality disorder, depression and self harm, to spellbound listeners. As well as their journey the young people spoke of where they are now with their issues and how they manage their lives. Interacting with the audience one young speaker was able to convey brilliantly how unpleasant and intrusive it feels to be asked the most personal of questions when entering therapy. Guided and occasionally prompted by Johnny the youngsters received an exceptionally warm and enthusiastic round of applause after their own individual account from a clearly moved and appreciative audience.
Following a vote of thanks by TAP council member Caroline Barrett, speakers, members and guests availed themselves of a hot beverage and the now legendary biscuits. The next TAP Talk takes place on Friday January 18th 2019 when Olivia Rowlatt presents ` Having conversations about sex`. All are welcome.
David Trott TAP Council Member