Team that runs workshops for parents wins Mental Health Practice Award

The child and adolescent mental health services team from Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust that devised and delivers intuitive and empowering parents’ workshops has won the Mental Health Practice category of the prestigious RCNi Nurse Awards.

Alan Wilmott
Alan Wilmott, who leads the Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust CAMHS parent workshop team. Picture: David Gee

The award, sponsored by Cygnet, was announced at a gala ceremony at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel in London.

'Understanding Your Child's Mental Health' workshops cater for parents whose child has been referred to child and adolescent mental health services.

Better understanding

Team leader, advanced practitioner Alan Wilmott said: ‘The workshops aim to help parents and carers to reflect on how their child or young person is currently experiencing life and help them develop resilience and a better understanding of what poor mental health might mean to their child or young person.

‘Topics covered include how brains develop and how external influences, actions and real-life events affect how people feel and the need to be able to feel safe sharing with the people we trust how we might be feeling.’

Alan has brought ideas from the specialist clinical area of infant mental health around attunement, dyadic synchrony, brain development, developmental play and the importance of play, playfulness and being playful, as well as ideas around attachment thinking. 

‘We have not really ‘devised’ anything new but brought these ideas and principles of practice together in a non-pathologising, non-judgemental programme,’ explains Alan.

'Profound effect'

One parent said: ‘Coming to this group and being given “permission” to play has led to quite a profound effect on our family as we have stepped back and thought about why we do things and how we can improve them.’ They added that their relationship with their child, and their understanding of their child’s and their own mental health had improved.

Further information

For the full story, including a photo gallery, click here.

For a round up of all the winners, finalists and coverage of the night’s events, go to RCNi's Nurse Awards home page.

The RCNi Nurse Awards

The RCNi Nurse Awards are the profession’s top accolade for nursing excellence. They recognise and reward nurses who have come up with new ways to improve health outcomes, enhance patient experiences and transform nursing practice. The awards provide a fantastic opportunity to share nursing initiatives, raise the profile of nursing, gain national recognition and influence nursing policy and practice.

Look out for details of how to enter the 2018 awards!