A drama workshop aimed at teenagers raising awareness of mental health and led by NHS Salford CCG has won a prestigious national award.
The CCG's communications and engagement team came out top in the Best Engagement/Consultation at the annual awards of the Association of Healthcare Communications and Marketing (AHCM).
They successfully beat off stiff competition from healthcare communications professionals from around the UK at the lavish awards ceremony at the Dunchurch Park Hotel, Warwickshire, on Thursday, March 16.
‘A Spiralling Mind’ focuses on the lives of two teenagers and how their coping methods for dealing with stress impacts on their lives, leading to self-harm and eating disorders. Last year the play toured visited 15 high schools across the city reaching out to more than 2,000 students. After watching the performance, pupils had an opportunity to take part in a workshop to talk about their views.
The aims of the project were to raise awareness of self-harm and eating disorders among young people and help them to understand where they can go, who they can talk to, if they need support.
Judges said: "A Spiralling Mind was an impressive campaign, good use of the theatre company and an innovative way to engage with young people on a difficult subject. The event involved creative suppliers, schools and mental health services, and resulted in additional insight about the views of young people that would not have been achieved through more traditional communications and engagement methods."
As well as coming in first place, the CCG was also 'commended' in the same category for the Big Health Day Does Cancer - raising awareness of cancer amongst people with learning difficulties - and 'highly commended' for the Best Partnership Award for Embracing the Dementia Challenge. Embracing the Dementia Challenge was an event co-produced with the Salford Dementia Champions Group to celebrate those living with dementia.
Judges said: "This entry showed good partnership working with the students at Salford University. By co-producing the event with people with dementia and their families and carers, Salford CCG created a truly inclusive, engaging event. At the event patients and carers came together to celebrate their involvement over the last 12 months and the changes they made to services, e.g. developing dementia friendly swimming lessons. The judges particularly liked how they involved local university students to produce patient story videos and so help develop understanding with the next generation."
Lynda Scott, chair of the AHCM, said: “We are proud of all of our winners – they all demonstrated the willingness to go above and beyond in their quest to communicate health.
“Our industry plays a vital role in ensuring important healthcare messages are communicated, communities are engaged and healthcare achievements are celebrated.
“The team at Salford CCG can consider themselves ranked amongst the cream of NHS communicators having won this highly sought-after prize.”
The AHCM is the primary independent network for people working in healthcare communications, public engagement and marketing for the NHS.