Delivering a Summer School using a blended approach - Saiba A
16 August, 2022
In July of 2022, TECCymru in collaboration with the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Wales held their first summer school for young people in Wales between the ages of 16 to 18 with an interested in the healthcare field and mental health in particular. The summer school took place over two days and aimed to give the young people involved an insight into various career paths relating to health care, as well as opportunities to understand the various aspects of the field by engaging in activities and talks with professionals.
The first day of the summer school took place at the RCPsych Cardiff Office with the day beginning with introductory talks from Professor Alka Ahuja, Gemma Johns, National Research lead TEC Cymru and Ollie John, RCPsych Wales who gave the children some information about the work of both TECCymru and the Royal College.
The day then proceeded with talks from professionals both online and in person. The students were given the opportunity to discuss how to study a medical career during a talk with Megan Barker, a medical student, who talked the young people through the steps for pursuing a career in medicine.
Following this, the young people got to explore the differences between careers in psychology and psychiatry whilst talking to Anne Marie McKigney, a child psychologist and Joanne Doherty, a specialist Child Psychiatry trainee and Elaine Lockhart, Chair CAP faculty who spoke about how they help those with mental health problems. The young people also got to develop their understanding of how methods to combat mental health issues are being learnt about and improved in a talk with the Research Lead of TEC Cymru, Gemma Johns.
Later on in the day, the students took part in various interactive workshop. These included a workshop led by Ollie which considered what steps should be taken to support the mental health and well- being of refugees coming to the UK, and also a workshop led by Kathryn Speedy, specialist Child Psychiatry trainee exploring the effect of environmental changes on mental health.
The young people really enjoyed the wide variety of events held on this day with one remarking how ‘it was so interesting to meet such a wide variety of people and learn about mental health from many perspectives.’ They were also able to reflect on their informative discussions on mental health on the second day of the summer school where they visited the Welsh Senedd to explore how public services and policy- making interact with health services to support mental health.
Overall, the summer school was a really enjoyable experience for all involved and using a blended approach of delivery opened this to a lot of young people (including one young person who was isolating at home) . TECCymru and RCPsych hope to continue the programme over the coming years and expand the age range of young people involved to continue providing an insight into mental health and the healthcare field.
Saiba A, Young Person Advisory Panel, Technology Enabled Care (TEC) Cymru