The Boost Project
We are excited to be working with Berkshire CAMHS to offer extra support to young people in Slough who are struggling with their mental health.
We know waiting for mental health treatment to start can be tough, especially for young people who are experiencing more complex mental health and emotional difficulties. But there are things you can do right now to help you feel better and this is where Boost comes in.
When you’re referred to us, we’ll quickly allocate you a Boost Worker. They will work closely with you to make a personalised plan, setting out a few simple steps for how you can move forward and begin to feel better.
As well as being a listening ear, your Boost Worker will help you to understand your thoughts and feelings. They’ll also help you to do more of the things you enjoy and that lift your mood, for example by supporting you to access local youth activities.
Support from Boost is good preparation for your therapy with your clinician, so when it begins you’ll be ready to really get the most out of it.
Why have I been referred to you?
Our colleagues from Berkshire CAMHS will have already spoken with you and your family to get an understanding of how they can best help you – this is known as completing an assessment. CAMHS staff will arrange for you to begin specialist therapy with one of their clinicians as soon as possible. In the meantime, you have been referred to us so we can give you some extra support straight away.
How does Boost’s support work?
First of all, you and your Boost Worker will spend some time getting to know each other. Instead of just focusing on your difficulties, your Boost Worker will aim to find out what’s important to you and explore your strengths.
Your Boost Worker will help you to understand your own thoughts and feelings and learn more about mental health and wellbeing. This means you’ll be able to develop the knowledge and skills to make changes for yourself and start to lift your own mood. You might also need your Boost Worker to help you work on things like your confidence and self-esteem, which are great buffers against life’s ups and downs.
When young people are struggling with their mental health they often stop doing things that matter to them. We’ll support you to get back in touch with things you enjoy and build new social connections though positive activities so you can get the most out of life.
Your Boost Worker will work with you to create a personalised plan, setting out a few simple steps for how you can move forward – this is like putting in place some building blocks designed especially to help you feel better.
Once you have identified your goals together, your Boost Worker will support you to achieve them. We’ll always put you at the centre of all decision-making, helping you to become happier and more resilient.
How will this help me?
By offering personalised support, we aim to give you the tools you need to help yourself feel better, now and in the future.
We do this by creating the kind of safe environment we know young people need to be able to grow. Boost will:
- empower you, so you feel you have some control over your life and are able to solve some of your own problems
- allow you to feel listened to
- make you feel valued, trusted and understood and give you a sense of belonging
- give you opportunities to enjoy yourself
- help you to feel hopeful and optimistic
- equip you with a good understanding of your own wellbeing and mental health
- provide a group setting that is right for you and that has an encouraging and positive atmosphere
When will my Boost support start and how long will it last?
This support will take place in the window up until you begin your therapy with a CAMHS clinician.
Our support is provided on a time-limited basis to work towards specific goals with you. The length of time we work with you for will depend on your needs and the goals we set together.
When/where will I see my Boost Worker?
This is flexible – but your Boost Worker will come to you. We’ll work with you to plan the best time for your sessions. Typically a session will be one hour long, but we may begin with a couple of these each week to get us going. We will work around your existing commitments and your preferences so that the sessions take place at a time which works for you.
What can I expect from the Boost team and what do you expect from me?
You can expect us to:
- respect your privacy and dignity
- share information about you with other professionals only on a need-to-know basis and with your permission
- listen to your views
- help you remain as independent as possible
- respect your gender, sexual orientation, race, religion or culture
- ensure our staff are trained to support you
We expect you to:
- be open about trying our offer of support
- tell us of any changes which may affect the support you receive
- engage with the overall goals we set together
- give us feedback on our service
- treat our staff with respect
Everything we do is guided by a clear set of Youth Work values. These include:
- young people choosing to take part
- using young people’s view of the world
- treating young people with respect
- seeking to develop young people’s skills and attitudes rather than remedy ‘problem behaviours’
- helping young people develop stronger relationships and collective identities
- respecting and valuing differences
How is Boost different to the support CAMHS offer?
CAMHS treatment is provided by clinicians, who are qualified to make mental health diagnoses and deliver a prescribed treatment. This kind of treatment often consists of talking therapy, which involves talking one-to-one with a clinician therapist about your thoughts, feelings and behaviours.
The Boost team is made up of qualified Youth Workers with a special interest in mental health. Your Boost Worker will give you extra support in the window between your CAMHS assessment and the start of your therapy with a clinician. Rather than taking a clinical or therapeutic approach to mental health, we follow an educational and practical approach. We focus on helping you to understand your own feelings and develop strategies to look after yourself so you can start to feel better.
Who created the Boost project and how is it funded?
The project was jointly designed by Berkshire CAMHS and Together As One. It is focused on offering additional support for young people with more complex mental health needs who are under the care of the Specialist Community Team (SCT) within Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (Berkshire Healthcare) Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).
Boost is funded by UK Youth Thriving Minds. This pilot project covers Slough and is a partnership between Together As One and Berkshire Healthcare.