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‘A Spiralling Mind’ school drama wins second engagement award

Salford Clinical Commissioning Group’s high school drama workshop, ‘A Spiralling Mind’ has won its second accolade for engagement.


‘A Spiralling Mind’ is a production which focusses on self-harm and has been delivered to year 9 students, aged 13 -14 in Salford schools over the past two and a half years.


In 2016, the CCG commissioned Odd Arts, a Manchester-based community arts group, to develop and deliver a young people’s mental health performance workshop. Staff and service users from 42nd Street, a young people’s emotional wellbeing service, helped shape the production, advising on the script and workshop content.


The initial tour proved to be an overwhelming success, receiving positive feedback from both pupils and teaching staff, which led to it being recommissioned in 2017 and 2018.


Last year the workshop was delivered to every Salford secondary school, pupil referral unit and a school for young people with special educational needs, as well as a secure training centre.


To date, over 6,500 young people have watched the performance and participated in the workshop, which is designed to encourage discussions on the sensitive issue of self-harm and signpost young people to emotional health and wellbeing services. In the first two years, both during and directly after the tours, there was an increase in referrals from schools to 42nd Street.


Although the theme has remained the same, the content has evolved over time to reflect emerging emotional health and wellbeing issues identified by previous participants, such as eating disorders and suicidal feelings.


In 2017, the project won a national ‘best engagement and consultation project’ award from the Association for Healthcare, Communication and Marketing.


This latest award marks it as ‘Engagement Champion’.  It comes from MES, a specialist engagement consultancy which helps organisations build engaged communities. The award was announced at their ‘Challenge 2020’ conference on 22 May.


The award recognises organisations and individuals that have progressed patient, public or staff engagement in health and have shown that good engagement can lead to positive, meaningful results.


Richard Whitehead, the CCG’s Engagement Manager, said: “It was fantastic news to find out that we'd won this award. We are very proud of 'A Spiralling Mind' and the outcomes from our educational engagement project.”


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