This World Mental Health Day 2023, we're celebrating the pioneering wellbeing passport project led by young people in our mental health patient participation group, Think4Brum. The wellbeing passport, funded by our Children's Hospital Charity, is a physical health passport containing vital information about a young person's mental health journey that they can give to health professionals. It aims to alleviate the trauma of having to relive and retell your mental health story.
The project saw great success, with the passport gaining interest from other NHS Trusts. It was also highlighted by NHS England as an example of best practice.
Nahida Rahman, an Expert by Experience and Chair of Think4Brum, helped champion the project. She spoke to us about the wellbeing passport and why the project meant so much to her.
What is the project?
The project is a Wellbeing Passport, a physical passport, co–produced by Think4brum members and kindly funded by the Birmingham Children's Hospital charity. The passport was created with the aid of Experts by Experience to help alleviate the trauma of having to relive and retell your mental health story to different health professionals. The passport contains many resourceful pages for the young person to fill in, such as, how are you feeling? A space to write emotions if they don't want to talk, "who I consent to be involved in my care" and many more.
Why did you start this project?
From being a member of the NHS Youth Forum 2022 and conducting a nationwide survey on young people's mental health, it was evident, that the challenge of having to relive and retell your story to different health professionals and a feeling of invalidation, was still a prominent issue, not just within our region, but also nationally too. From a previous rollout of the passport, it was clear just how much of an impact the wellbeing passport had on the young person and their recovery journey, so I knew that by being involved and if we could have a wider rollout of the passport within our trust, we could have a bigger impact on the number of young people's mental health journeys.
Why will this project help young people in our service/ why has this project helped young people in our service?
This project will help young people as it ensures that the young person's thoughts and experiences are validated. The passport helps the young person, collate their thoughts, experiences, and worries, ensuring the young person's voice and what matters/is important to them is empowered. This will help health professionals communicate effectively with the young person, enabling them to be more involved in their care plan, and to help make more informed decisions, all in aid of that long-term hope and recovery.
Why are you particularly proud of this project?
I am particularly proud of this project because I love how this empowers young people throughout the mental health journey. Going through a mental health crisis can often make you feel like you're alone or you have no control, but this wellbeing passport, gives that ownership, that sense of control back to that young person, in shaping their mental health journey.
What did you like most about being involved in this project?
I liked how the project was entirely co–produced by Think4brum members so every detail of the wellbeing passport was well thought out and mapped out, including the physical appearance of the wellbeing passport, consciously deciding that it should be in A5 binder form so it's easy to carry around and that pages can be added and taken out, to ensure the well –being passport is personalised and tailored towards the young person.