The Team of Life: A narrative approach to building resilience in UK school children

Eames, V, Shippen, C and Sharp, H
(2016) The Team of Life: A narrative approach to building resilience in UK school children. Educational and Child Psychology, 33 (2). pp. 57-68.

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Concern about children and young people's mental health is high on the UK national agenda. Access to specialist Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) is perceived as problematic due to high thresholds, clinic-based service delivery and associated stigma. Schools and youth work contexts present alternative and more accessible settings for early intervention and preventative work aimed at promoting positive mental health. The Team of Life is a narrative group methodology with sporting metaphors, which encourages young people to recognise the strength and resilience in their life teams. The approach has been used within diverse contexts internationally, for example with former child soldiers in Uganda, young men from refugee backgrounds and young people in Australian schools. Innovative partnership work between health and education has led to the implementation of the Team of Life in a UK school and the development of a manualised Team of Life Programme. We now report findings from pilot work evaluating feasibility and outcomes for the programme within a UK secondary school setting. Quantitative findings include significant positive change in Goal Based Outcomes as well as significant reductions in emotional and behaviour difficulties measured by the Child Behaviour Checklist. Qualitative thematic analysis of participant feedback indicates benefits relating to the experience of 'shared understanding', 'confidence', 'peer support' and the 'positive impact of sport'. Further research is planned to evaluate the effectiveness on a larger scale. This pilot study was undertaken as part of CAMHS Extended Schools work. Potential for collaboration between clinical and education psychology colleagues in relation to the promotion of positive mental health in schools is discussed.

Item Type: Article
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2016 07:07
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2023 07:27