Authors: Royal Children’s Hospital Mental Health Service (VIC)
Event: 2006 TheMHS Awards
Type of resource: TheMHS Awards
Award state: VIC
Award level: Winner
Award category: Infant, Child and Adolescent
Abstract: Feeling is Thinking (FisT), is an immensely popular, effective and clinically developed, group work intervention program for children aged 8 to 12 years who have difficulty appropriately expressing strong emotions, particularly their angry feelings. Developed in response to CAHMS clinicians and school support staff wanting an effective, evidenced based treatment group, well over 60 FisT programs have been run in a variety of locations within Western and North Western Metropolitan Melbourne. Due to demand, a professional FisT manual and training program was developed and a further 65 professionals have now been trained to go on and run FisT. In 2005 the program was expanded to include a ‘Parent’ component, running an additional eight week parent program that complemented the children’s group. A recent comprehensive evaluation of the FisT program demonstrates that post program children exhibit a significant improvement in social skills and similarly a significant reduction in poor externalising behaviours. Supporting Kids is a partnership of agencies and parents working together to understand and address the needs of children who have a parent with a mental illness. Description of Facility/Organisation: The Feeling is Thinking Program is a ‘truly unique’ program within the range of group work interventions developed by the Royal Children’s Hospital Mental Health Service’s (RCH MHS) Community Group Program (CGP). What sets it apart from the other programs is: The huge demand for its delivery (over 500 children have been through the program, a figure that outstrips any other intervention group offered by the CGP. In late 2004 a parent version of FisT was piloted and is now offered as a complementary component to this children’s group work intervention. FisT, in response to the huge demand for its delivery, is now the only program within the CGP that has been developed into a professional manual and one day training package.