Nurse, CAMHS PICU
Within inpatients CAMHS services we do out upmost to support the human rights and well-being of our service users while also maintaining safety. This can take many forms from supporting someone to bake a cake to gradually building up periods of leave back to their family home.
One of our service users was struggling to find meaningful goals to work towards to help motivate them to remain safe while on the ward. As they had been in hospital for a considerable period there was a feeling that they felt hopeless in the idea that any meaningful progression could be made.
Across the ward multidisciplinary team (community teams’ input, family and social care), we wanted to do something to uplift their mood and positivity. A goal was set for the service user to be supported to attend their first ever concert. Due to the young person’s love and passion for music this felt like a meaningful activity for them as well as being something that was age appropriate and a ‘normal’ yet exciting milestone of adolescence. I’m sure most people can still remember their first gig, concert or festival as a teenager.
Within the team a week-by-week plan roughly spanning eight weeks was put in place to attempt to support the young person to achieve their overall goal. This was then reviewed each week and decided if the young person as ready to progress onto the next stage and if not, what things could be put in place to support each stage to be completed to help facilitate the overall aim. As the young person progressed further through the stages other challenges did arise such as who was going to take them? How would we transport them? and logistics around what time would they take their prescribed medication etc. This took a lot of coordination within the team and with the family, but each hurdle was overcome, and the day of the concert arrived.
This was a particularly unique experience as although within other services day trips are slightly more commonplace within a PICU setting they are often far from the norm. However, it was felt that for this young person this would be an important step in helping reintegrate them back into the community and so the team all worked together to ensure it took place. Being part of the team that accompanied them to this concert was a special experience as the young person could not quite believe they had managed to keep themselves safe enough for the trip to take place as well as having all the same excitement any person would have of seeing one of their favourite artists perform.
A new outfit from Primark, make-up applied, and McDonald’s consumed en-route made it feel all the more like an adolescent night out. Seeing anyone enjoy a new experience for the first time is exciting but when you have been part of the challenging journey with a young person of them keeping themselves safe enough to achieve their goals, it is a special experience.
Although one also full of anxiety as you imagine all the possible dangers and things that can go wrong. (We had tried to mitigate and plan for some of these by making sure the young person was aware we could leave if it all felt overwhelming) That aside when it all goes to plan to take a positive risk and seeing the joy it can bring to an individual is without a doubt the best part of the job.