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Safety Nets

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Blog: Social Prescribing Day

Safety Nets creates therapy groups for young people to improve their mental and emotional wellbeing.

This is a community based social prescribing intervention combining physical activity and psychoeducation for young people on mental health service waiting lists. Dr Ryan Dias established Safety Nets in 2019, launched in partnership with Chesterfield FC based on an adult model.

The project is the brainchild of Dr Ryan Dias who said: “In psychiatry we talk about ‘weaving a safety net’ so that if someone suffers an acute bout of mental illness they have coping strategies in place to help them through.

“I’ve seen how adults in Derbyshire have benefitted from a similar type of scheme that cares for both their mental and physical health so it seemed that creating something for children and young people too would be a great thing to do.

“NHS professionals are doing all they can to reduce CAMHS waiting times, but the issue won’t be solved overnight; this approach means that children and young people are getting help sooner and some have even recovered by taking part in the ‘safety net’ sessions.”

Each therapy group runs for two hours after school in term time. The groups are run at a local club for eight weeks, with each weekly group focusing on different aspects of physical and mental health. The physical health aspect of the groups covers a broad range of physical activities, which are not confined to football and rugby alone.

The mental health education section asks group members to comment and reflect on their emotional wellbeing, diet, relationships, sleep, relaxation techniques. The groups also enable young people to learn about how any why anxiety and depression occur, and how we can learn ways of managing them.

The demand for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) services is at an all-time high and recent research shows children and young people referrals have increased by 26% in five years. Nationally, 50% of children and young people that are assessed wait more than 18 weeks to start treatment and over 3% wait over 12 months

That’s why we’re part of a movement to develop “Safety Nets” across our area. This is a scheme that bridges part of the gap between being referred and receiving treatment. Safety Nets is a collaborative project involving local CAMHS teams and professional football and rugby clubs.

Supported by:


For more information, contact:

Darren Huart 07702 557008 darren.huart@yorkshiresport.org

Megan Garside Megan.Garside@nhs.net 

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