Mental health service users in Northumberland will be given ‘self-soothe boxes’ to support them through their therapy journey.
The Northumberland Community Treatment Team, who provides assessment and treatment to people who may be experiencing difficulties with their mental health, will give out the boxes to service users who attend the team’s Life Skills group.
The boxes are designed to help recipients build on their self-soothing, distraction and coping skills, something which is a key focus for the group. The Life Skills Group aims to help people who are experiencing difficult emotions and stress. It involves a person accepting those thoughts and putting strategies in place to cope with them.
The boxes can be tailored to each individual, depending on their coping strategies and their needs. Some of the options include art therapy colouring books and colouring pencils, pampering items like face masks, pillow spray and hand creams, stress balls, pebbles from nearby beaches, and puzzles. All items will come wrapped in a gift box.
Community Clinical Manager Helen Robinson said: “As a team we try to come up with innovative ways of engaging with the people we work with. Our service users are offered a range of interventions and therapies to suit their personal needs and the self-soothe boxes build on that personalised approach.
“Often it’s the little things that mean the most and we hope that the boxes will provide some comfort and be useful for people both in the group sessions and as something they can use at home.”
The Life Skills group runs for up to 15 weeks and the team hope that if the initial boxes are a success, it’s something they will be able to continue in the future.
The Northumberland Community Treatment Team is part of Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW), a leading provider of mental health and disability services in the North East and north Cumbria.