Yorkshire Youth & Music’s first sessions with CAMHS
Over the summer, Yorkshire Youth & Music worked in a CAMHS setting for the first time (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service) in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. Our musicians visited for one day every week over the six week holidays to lead music activities with young people of both primary and secondary school age.
Working directly alongside the Occupational Therapists and other NHS staff who care for young people in the setting, the project aimed to engage young people in positive and purposeful activities during the holiday. For most children and young people, some of those days can drag along, and this is no different for in-patient, vulnerable young people in need of specialist care. Some of the young people we met in the setting were already accomplished musicians, including a keyboard player and a guitarist, whilst others had very little previous experience of music-making.
Over the six weeks, the young people were able to explore different areas of music:
- – both group-based and individual song-writing
- – instrumental playing
- – exploring and researching about favourite artists and different music styles
- – experimenting with music technology
The NHS staff were pleased with the responses from young people in the setting; some made posters of their favourite artists and talked about why they liked them, whilst others concentrated on improving the lyrics they’d written over the course of the visits, so they had a complete song by the end of the project. They were positively engaged in group activities, which is often very difficult for young people with significant mental health needs.
The NHS staff are keen to continue working with us, and to extend the programme to include more young people in their care.
There was some debate, of course, about who’s choice of music was the best with the choice of our Director, Gail Dudson, being given a particularly lukewarm reception…!