DSH Positive Choices

Erasmus+ KA2 Strategic Partnership in the field of youth
Project Number: 2014-2-UK01-KA205-012013
Duration: 2015.04.01 – 2017.03.31
Project “DSH Positive Choices” addresses the issue of Deliberate Self Harm or NSSI (Non Suicidal Self Injury). Self Harm is often labelled as a "personality disorder" and is stigmatised in many communities with some A&E locations deferring treatment because the person has injured themselves deliberately. Stigma leads to social exclusion and isolation, depression and can ultimately end in suicide for the young person at risk.
There are interventions that can help young people to combat Alexithymia (an inability to express emotions and feelings), but, many teachers, youth workers etc, are not aware or trained in them to address these causes of early school leaving.DSH Posit
ive Choices will "foster quality improvements in youth work, in particular through enhanced cooperation between organisations in the youth field and/or other stakeholders" (a specific objective of Erasmus Plus Programme in the field of youth). The project will deliver a series of workshops around promotion of emotional awareness, confidence building, self exploration for young people and self harm awareness for all stakeholders. Collectively, they will form an open training resource for all working in the field of youth, particularly with young people who may be, or at risk of, experiencing symptoms of Alexithymia and/or any other emotional distress. Each partner will host a 3 day meeting and deliver 2 one day workshops around related themes that can help young people build emotional resilience and train youth workers in skills to recognize and deal with recognizable symptoms and how to empathically support the young person in getting local professional help.
Partners will take workshops back to their own country to translate materials and deliver to 10+ people in the field of youth, and deliver at least 1 relevant workshop to 10+ young people locally. It is important to include young people to get their feedback and evaluation as to fitness for purpose. All results will be presented at a final international conference.
Plymouth and District Mind, United Kingdom
Žmogiškųjų išteklių stebėsenos ir plėtros biuras, Lithuania
Society of Social Psychiatry and Mental Healt, Greece
BEHDER, Turkey
Bucovina, Romania
AUTH, Greece
12 workshops from 6 partnership meetings
Plymouth – Meeting 1
1. Exploring Self Care and Compassion
6 week course designed to explore self-acceptance, self-compassion and increased feelings of self-worth. Participants will learn how to present this group course. Workbooks will be provided both to use during the workshop and also for partners to translate and use.
2. Self Exploration for Young People
8 week course designed to help people with mild to moderate depression and anxiety develop their life skills and to identify links between their thoughts, feelings and behaviour and an opportunity to learn and practice new coping strategies. Workbooks will be provided for use in the workshop and taking away for translation.
Siauliai - Meeting 2
1. Theater of the Oppressed is an arsenal of theater techniques and games that seeks to motivate people, restore true dialogue, and create space for participants to rehearse taking action. It begins with the idea that everyone has the capacity to act in the “theatre” of their own lives; everybody is at once an actor and a spectator. We are “spect-actors!” — a term which Boal coined. The following methods such as rainbow of desires, forum theatre, legislative theatre, newspaper theatre, invisible theatre are used. 
2. "Image Theatre" - Image theatre is similar to forum theatre in every way, except that everyone is holding still. Image theatre invites spect-actors to form a tableau of frozen poses to capture a moment in time dramatizing an oppressive situation. The image then becomes a source of critical reflection, facilitated by various kinds of interventions. This allows for both faster development and use of the process: whereas forum theatre often involves a small team that develops and rehearses a skit for months, image theatre can be created on the spot, collaboratively. In this way, image theatre is an incredibly accessible tool to use in trainings, strategy development and direct actions
Athens - Meeting 3
1. The psycho education of people from the community, parents and teachers, in the specific matter of child maltreatment and child abuse. Aim:  increase awareness and recognize the concepts of child maltreatment and child abuse and its effects in the mental health of young people. Psycho education of the specific matter enhances acknowledgement and recognition when it occurs. Encouraging ways or strategies of coping with it.  
2. Dealing with feeling: the crisis of adolescence: Aim: increased recognition of the early symptoms regarding adolescents who face more specific (in terms of pathology) difficulties and are in danger to develop self-harm behaviour.
Aksaray - Meeting 4
1. Group work to identify causes and effects of Alexithymia in young people; discovering typical Alexithymia behaviours in young people; recognition of symptoms
2. A variety of interactive tasks are given to the group to directly explore the theme of Alexithymia in young people, such as impromptu interviewing of young people and recording these on video; using everyday objects to explore Alexithymia in terms of these objects.
Suceava - Meeting 5
1. Pantomime: to mime different feelings, different mood, different gesture as for example how can take a glass of water, how you can wash your hands with the spoon – and all this repeating in front of a mirror, it’s a way to memorize it and this it's like an exercise for every day. Therapy through this theatre is like a change of energy, also which is using mime, puppy theatre and gesture, is recommended for people with social inhibitions, have a form of autism or are afraid to talk or to look at someone.
2. Photography: Walking on the street, making photo of people in different situation, discussing over the faces in the picture, talking about the feeling experienced in the photo. These methods will help to be aware of the feeling, to pay more attention on it when they are looking at others, to start to not be afraid of it.
Amfissa - Meeting 6
1. “Exploring self – expressing together” - to teach life lessons and instill strength, manage differences and strengthen children’s ability to interact, stand up for themselves when harassed by others, prop their development, to cultivate healthy social and emotional skills, and build various coping strategies.
2. “Community and young people at risk: from mutual fear to mutual understanding” - use art as the “bridge” and common tool to increase the understanding and to motivate these informal groups to be a supportive environment for  young people at risk and support the sustainability of our efforts.