There are a variety of ways we can work with students and we are always open to suggestions, but this is what has worked well so far. The team have written, “How it all began” stories, which are for students to read before we come into a school. All of these stories tell the students a little about each person, how they were at school and how their problems began. We would like students to think about these stories and the issues they raise so that they will be ready with questions. Each team member then talks to groups of up to 25 students for 20 – 30 minutes. We can in addition do longer, more structured sessions, lasting up to an hour.
The team currently consists of: Ben, Paddy and John who talk about drugs. Sarah and Ali who talk about self-harm and Mick who talks about alcohol.
Mick can also talk about drugs and self-harm and Ali can also talk about alcohol.
Each school can have as many or as few people from this team as they would like, although we think it is more effective to have at least two. Having more than one person to talk about a specific area gives students differing perspectives and increases their likelihood of understanding the issues.