AMETHYST - SMALL WORLD THEATRE
The Amethyst project was a pilot project by Small World Theatre that worked with young people experiencing issues around anxiety, depression, low mood, self-harm, suicidal ideation, low confidence and low self-esteem.
The activities piloted as part of the project complimented other support young people are receiving from statutory or third sector organisations in order to improve well-being.
The two-year programme developed different sessions for different age groups county-wide, as well as sessions for parents and families to build understanding of how to support children suffering from these issues.
The unique tool kit of techniques helped explore their relationship with themselves and others, to identify barriers they face in their lives and look for positive solutions. The techniques were practiced in a safe space in which young people can feel at ease and comfortable. The techniques included ‘circle time’ to build trust and listening skills; drama exercises and fun games to put participants at ease; looking at coping with anxiety, low mood and general emotional wellbeing; and raising awareness of mental health issues affecting young people through interactive bilingual performances.
The project ran multiple sessions, approximately 3-4 hours, over the county for the young people which included;
- Sessions for 12-14 olds and 15-18 olds in Cardigan who were referred by statutory and third sector organisations.
- Sessions for 14-16 olds and 16-18 olds in Aberystwyth who were referred by external agencies.
- Bilingual sessions in 5 junior schools throughout the county.
Due to the Covid-19 lockdown, Amethyst had to adapt their activities, therefore, the project obtained a zoom license and began running sessions online. These sessions included the 14-18 age range Amethyst groups from the north and south of Ceredigion and Parent/Guardian sessions which also resulted in more parents being able to attend.
Reflecting upon the benefits of the project, the results show that the wellbeing and mental health for participants in 12-18 old age groups have improved, significant awareness has been raised in improving wellbeing for junior school aged children and improved access to support and improved parenting skills for parent/guardian participants.
Positive results from Amethyst were also evident through the participants feedback including one participant stating “It's not only tactics that help with depression and anxiety, it helps with other things outside of the Amethyst Project like anger and stuff…It's not just the counsellors and workers, it's the other people who come to Amethyst that have been supportive.”
To view the full dissemination report on the Amethyst pilot project, click here.
To view the case study, click here.