I thought it symbolic that the young lassies fa Levenmouth Academy Dancers opened the launch of Our Minds Matter Framework (OMM). They performed three dances and each had a story line and purpose but it was not always explicitly clear what these were to the adults watching. This could sound familiar to many young people who have sought to explain their experience of mental health to adults, eh?
To me the dancing not only illustrated the grace, energy, strength and beauty of youth. It also reminds me of the innate and diverse potential that all young people embody. In an ideal world we would give every young person in Fife the voice, time, space, support and resources that would bring about the realization of their potential and the qualities of resilience necessary to live in the modern world. But this not a fairy tale, and OMM is not the panacea for all Fife’s mental health ills.
Obviously, some will say it’s just another policy document and it will need to be adequately funded or it will merely play lip service to meet the mental ill health epidemic sweeping the country. But speaking to some of the key people responsible for OMM they say it is revolutionary in relation to what has gone before not least because diverse services are actually working together. So as the great man said “a little less conversation a little more action”! And the action has started.
And so it was described as a unique collaboration and partnership for the common purpose of supporting the mental health of young people in Fife. Aye that seemed to be what was happening at Kennoway Primary School as education and health professionals sat alongside Fife Council and third sector organizations watching the launch. Kennoway is’na known for its affluence so the location of the launch reflected the assertion of equality of provision in Fife. The audience were all given a glossy copy of the Our Minds Matter document to take home, and so can you by clicking on the above link.
Broadly speaking the OMM Framework can be broken down to providing support and services to the following
1. Additional support for emotional distressed young people in schools
2. Universal provision for promoting the health and well-being of all young people in schools
3. Develop the capacity of adults responsible for YP to enable them to further support the emotional health and wellbeing of young people. I’d argue that all adults have a duty of care to our young people, but that is a different argument.
So Monday 8th May 2017 was the public launch day, but I’d collaborated in writing and submitting a proposal to address all three of these different streams by teaching mindfulness to young people, teachers, and parents (18 courses in 9 schools in first year). The proposal was accepted, so I started working four weeks ago on OMM by coordinating a group of mindfulness teachers to deliver 8 week mindfulness courses to teachers, young people and parents in two high schools in Fife. We are in these schools as the first wave of fulfilling our OMM commissioned objectives. After the summer we are hoping to start working in two or three primary schools with the same model. I’ll write up the content of this model tomorrow.