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Over the last year and a half, we have worked closely with NHS Bath, North East Somerset, Swindon & Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to produce a collection of films as part of their mental health support services in the areas. The films aim to support children, young people, parents, carers and families with their mental health and provide tools for healthier communication.

We were excited to embark on this journey to create digestible, engaging, and educational content that we anticipate will be watched by a large audience and be part of the extensive available resources at the NHS.

According to Mind, a UK Mental health charity, 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem of some kind each year in England. The surprising statistic highlights the importance of educational films and campaigns for people to feel supported and empowered with information about their health. In response to this, the Mental Health at Home campaign emerged and the internal creative team at Create came up with two sets of films.

The first set of films follows the real-life stories of three young people - Amita, Holly, and Arthur - who have different mental health experiences and their journey with Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), portrayed by actors. Then the second set of films is delivered by Millie and Olivia, who share practical tips on how to have healthy conversations around mental health, focusing on parents/carers supporting their young people.

We are positive that these resources will make a difference and look forward to hearing from young people and their families how they have been able to reach out as a result of these. - Esther Schmidt, Children's Commissioning Lead, NHS BSW CCG

In writing and developing the three stories, our creative team consulted with the children's team at the CCG and researched to understand the support services available and some of the experiences for young people leading up to it. As a result, we developed diverse narratives that resonate with different audiences and stay centred on empathy and understanding during a complicated time of new mental health experiences. At the same time, the films acknowledge the impact it has on friends and family as they learn new ways to support the young person and reach out for external support.

‘There should be more things like this and they should show it in PHSE at school’ - Young Person from STEP, a local organisation in Swindon.

Holly, a Looked After Child from the age of three, has moved between many foster homes in her lifetime. Struggling to maintain a healthy diet and her mental health, Holly is referred to CAMHS for support. In the process, she discovers her love for running.

'Holly's film was best, she's like me, she got through it' - Young Person from STEP, a local organisation in Swindon.

Amita finds herself struggling with her mental health after experiencing racism at school. Without anyone to relate to, whilst tackling panic attacks and cultural pressures, Amita turns to CAMHS for support.

Arthur has been diagnosed with Aspergers and has found strength in having routines and structure in his day to day life. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted these routines and his anxieties escalated, leading to isolation. Arthur's family encourages him to seek help from CAMHS, who refer him to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) sessions to help reduce anxiety and find various coping mechanisms.

Milly and Olivia, Wellbeing and Communication Training Facilitators, provide a wide range of tips and advice for children, young people, and their families on ways to talk about our feelings and thoughts to help us understand each other better.

If you’d like to find out more about our productions or how we can help connect you and your audiences through film, get in touch with us using the contact details below.