On 31st Aug, young people descended on the Centre at Maresfield Gardens for the Young People’s Summer Participation Involvement Event (aka PIE!) The event is devised, designed and delivered by the CYP IAPT Young Advisors. This third edition of the annual event was preceded by a survey sent out to young people directly and via the CYP IAPT participation workers’ network, finding out what they’d want – interactive workshops, games, prizes, and goodie bags were all popular.
A group of young people directed by the Young Producers at the National Gallery created artwork for Lingo, a project that is being co-produced with a Young Champion. Lingo is trying to reduce stigma and improve mental health for young people by communicating mental health, feelings and emotions through the expression of art. They were asked to consider how they would explain mental health or how they were feeling to someone who spoke another language. This ran concurrent with a poetry workshop that took inspiring images as a starting point for ekphrastic poetry. (Yes, the poet expanded our vocabulary and broadened our horizons!)
After the break, filled with intense competition on the smart-gym-esque game, groups got together to design their ideal systems equipped to support young people and families with mental health issues. The ideas included a system staffed only by professionals with experience of mental illness, and an all ages service, without a division between adults and children.
And then, the denouement: the award ceremony. Six weeks before the event, nominations had been invited for best participation in service, best participation worker and best participation project. After much debate, and visits to services across London and the South-East, well-deserved inscribed glass trophies were presented. (Details of winners will be on cypiapt.com.) Prizes were also awarded to 8 young people nominated as great participators.
All in all, a fantastic and elevating day, abounding with fun, camaraderie and creativity!