This year, the SKIP psychology programme has follows a public health model, which increases the number of individuals who are able to access mental health resources. Through this model, interventions are provided at three different levels:
At the Primary Intervention level, we create and carry out workshops for all mothers enrolled in the programme on child development and behaviour management. These workshops review basic cognitive, social and moral development milestones for children ages 3-18 years, and provide discipline strategies to use at different developmental time points. Follow-up workshops are provided to work more closely with parents to help them develop discipline plans for their own families and practice behaviour management skills with their children in real-time, so that they can receive feedback on their use of these skills.
At the Secondary Intervention level, we carry out support groups for primary-school children identified by their parents and/or teachers as having behavioural or emotional problems. The purpose of these groups is to provide the children with a safe place to explore these concerns, while also receiving tips for how to control their behaviour and manage their emotions. These groups also allow the psychologists to assess multiple children at once and identify those who require more intensive interventions.
In addition, psychology teamed up with Secondary Education to carry out a youth work curriculum with students in danger of failing, or dropping out of, school. This project pairs an adolescent with a SKIP team member who acts as their mentor, guiding them through activities designed to help them identify their strengths and goals while motivating them to pursue realistic ambitions.
At the Tertiary Intervention level, the primary psychologist carries out individual, couples, and family therapy with those families most in need; specifically, those individuals who have psychological disorders or are suffering from severe emotional distress. Children, adolescents, and adults suffering from a variety of disorders, including depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, conduct disorder, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and personality disorders are provided with therapy tailored to their specific diagnoses. In addition, couples whose relational problems are affecting the mental health of their children are provided with therapy to improve their interpersonal communication and parenting techniques.
The Area of Psychology also works to better the internal processes of the organisation and is involved in the training of volunteers for the Programme.
The Psychology team works in close collaboration with the Social Work department.