Vist Cam's Den by clicking the link www.camsden.co.uk
Our clinical staff, who work with children on a daily basis, were keen to create something that young people could really relate to - something that would improve awareness about mental health, clarify what actually happens at a clinic appointment and attempt to tackle the stigma that sadly often surrounds mental health issues.
We carried out extensive research into what would appeal to children aged 7-10 years by holding a number of focus groups in three Camden schools: Fitzjohn's, Brecknock and Carlton primary schools. We also used our clinical expertise and experience of treating children with psychological therapies to help us find the best ways to communicate with this age group.
NHS Camden, our local PCT, provided us with funding for this project to help create a clinically-informed online resource that teachers and parents could use with children to help tackle this difficult subject, and that could act as a signposting service for children and adolescent mental health services in Camden.
We then collaborated with design consultancy Elmwood and animation company Absolutely Cuckoo to create the website, and were pleased to receive a grant from the British Psychological Society to produce a promotional DVD, which includes a 'how to make a sock puppet' film, and was very well received by children, parents and teachers.
In October 2010, after many months of hard work by a wide ranging team of people, Cam's Den was launched at Carlton Primary School. The day included a special 'Cam's Den' assembly, where Project Lead Dr. Sally Hodges and the website's animator Dan Good from Absolutely Cuckoo presented the Cam's Den puppets to an audience of enthusiastic children! After the assemby we took a group of children to an IT suite so they could test the site, which proved to be a great success. After that we held a 'create a sock puppet' session in a classroom with the children, following the step-by-step instructions on the promotional DVD, which also proved to be lots of fun and a really engaging activity for the children to be involved in.
A big thank you is due to many, many people for making the Cam's Den project happen. Well done to everyone involved, including our clinical staff and communications team, NHS Camden, Elmwood Design Consultancy, animators Absolutely Cuckoo, website company Redhouse Lane, the British Psychological Society, Brighter Day Music, Jam Flicks, Fitzjohn's, Brecknock and Carlton primary schools.