This Case Study is from one of our Toolbox Workers. This gives you an insight to how Toolbox can help you.
Whilst promoting Toolbox at a community event in Hednesford Park, August 2018, I spoke with a Teaching Assistant from a Special Needs school in Cannock. This lady has responsibility for Mental Health and Well Being at the Primary School. She thought Toolbox would be a helpful addition to what the school can offer for staff, volunteers and parents.
I followed up this face to face conversation, by emailing out all my Toolbox E-Information, attaching copies of the Toolbox promotional leaflet, my user friendly ‘blurb’ about Toolbox and both the organisation and self-referral Toolbox forms. In addition, I outlined all the many ways we can receive referrals and indicated what options for engaging with Toolbox were available: Individual appointment; Team meeting chat; Toolbox presentation; Toolbox Taster presentation; Toolbox Workshop; Market Place promotion.
The outcome of this and further emails was the school booking a full Toolbox Workshop in place of their routine twilight staff meeting for a potential 30 members of the school community. Due to the tight time slot given, in advance of the workshop, participants were asked to complete an E-copy of the self-referral form and email directly back to myself so that paperwork elements of the workshop would be minimised.
I have subsequently delivered the Toolbox Workshop with 26 attendees with roles including Head Teacher, curriculum staff, Teaching assistants and support staff e.g. office staff. There was even an assistance/therapy dog in the session which was a lovely addition.
Seated at three different tables, all attendees were given a workshop pack which included: Toolbox promotional leaflet; My individualised promotional ‘bumph’ with my work contact details given; Toolbox referral form for anyone as yet to complete or to pass on to someone they felt Toolbox could useful to; Toolbox assessment sheet to complete during the workshop; generic signposting sheet with a diverse range of signposting information identified e.g. Helpline numbers, self-help wellbeing tools, information about self-help apps and websites, information about social hubs and wellbeing services in the locality; 5 Ways to wellbeing sheet; Wellbeing Podcasts sheet with links on; Chocolate Mindfulness sheet; ‘To keep emotionally well I will …..’ worksheet for personal reflection post workshop.
Unexpectedly, having had previous experience of resistance when working with a group of professionals’ and encouraging them to connect with and talk about their feelings, immediately, the vast majority of this cohort, positively engaged with the Toolbox process. This enabled a high level of meaningful interaction and focussed participation to take place, as a whole group, in pairs and as an individual.
There were a number of positives outcomes resulting from this workshop:
- The organiser from the school emailed to say:
‘’I have had some very positive comments following the staff meeting. Some from people who do not always voice their opinions which was good.’’
- The organiser also shared that having a staff meeting focussed on how to help ourselves better with our own wellbeing had also flagged up individuals who were previously reluctant to share emotional difficulties they were having and those who were anxious about potential stigma and discrimination which they would be subjected to. The organiser felt that the Toolbox workshop had really helped to break open the conversation about wellbeing and mental health and was encouraged with how the school could move forward in keeping the conversation going.
- The organiser is going to share her experience of Toolbox with other schools in the area
- A potential workshop for parents/carers with children at the special school is now being discussed
- The organiser spoke with her daughter who is currently in Year 8 about the Toolbox Workshop and her daughter asked if I would be able to do an assembly at her school about Mental Health. This is an interesting idea to think about moving forward with the development of Toolbox and how it can be adapted to meet the needs of teenagers and children under the age of 18 years.