Occupational Therapy-based Intervention ‘Self Soothe Boxes’
The purpose of Kayleigh's role on this placement was to embed an occupational therapy (OT) based intervention that aligned with NATH’s key functions, but also exposed the value and needed contribution that occupational therapy can deliver.
"Through scoping the service and attending the Social Prescribers Delivery framework I had support from Dr Saira Jawaid (GP) and Maria Willis (Head of Social Prescribing, PCN Development Nottingham & Nottinghamshire CCG) to create education on ‘Self Soothe Boxes’ and how these can be utilised in practice to a response to the increase in complex mental health referrals link workers were receiving. In addition, I felt this intervention would complement the current collaborative approach with Nottinghamshire County Council’s Principal OT - Cate Bennett of whom secured funding for 44 of the 57 link workers to take part in Social Prescribing and Occupational Therapy Training in assessments.
From this, it led to the fantastic opportunity to represent NATH, and Nottingham & Nottinghamshire CCG as a presenter discussing my intervention for a national webinar “Mental Health, Loneliness & Connecting with Community Assets” during mental health awareness week organised by NHS England & Improvements."
(Kayleigh and her Self Soothe Box)
The delivery of self soothe education to two teams of link workers was completed, and to inform evaluation, feedback was collated that highlighted the value of understanding what occupational therapy is, how it can be applied in both physical and mental health settings. The main benefit noted was how self-soothing can be used and adapted as a form of promoting healthy emotional regulation during periods of anxiety and low mood, with many link workers stating they wanted to try this out in practice. To support this, I created a resource that would support them to utilise self soothe boxes in their future practice.
Moreover, the whole placement experience has been truly valuable, it has increased the value of OT interventions, whilst on a personal level inspiring me to look beyond the current OT pathway, and consider alternative opportunities as my career progresses to make a tangible difference within healthcare.
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