Support us to support young people!
Dunlewey Addiction Services will provide essential support services for young people suffering from or at risk of developing addictions to online gaming & screen time.
Since the pandemic we have received a lot of enquiries from parents noting a vast increase in the amount of screen time and online gaming from their children. Considering this, we will design and deliver a pilot treatment programme for young people facing problem gaming/gambling issues. This will involve us developing a management group of mainly young people to enable us to look more widely at these issues and develop appropriate and timely services.
The youth led management group will give young people an important voice ensuring that they are heard, acknowledged and ensure that all future support is youth led from the outset. The youth led management group will develop an important network of young people who work together in conjunction with Dunlewey Addiction Services to discuss issues faced by young people today, and to develop programmes, support networks and initiatives that help young people face and overcome challenges.
Through the youth led management group, young people will be able to-
– Enhance their C.V- Develop skills such as leadership skills, communication skills and teamwork
– Be involved with a network of young people
– Become a leader and have an important contribution to positive change in society
– Acquire qualifications
– Gain mentor support
Longer term, the programme will involve 6 key areas of support for young people as follows-
1-Mentoring – Young people will have the opportunity to resource themselves with the aid of a mentor (i.e someone who is qualified and came through past Dunlewey programmes and faced similar issues regarding gaming/screen time addictions). Led by the young person, this will involve them creating targets/goals. Overarching targets will be addressing screen time and gaming addictions. And thus improving mental, emotional and social health for participants. The end goal of this programme is for a number of the young participants to become peer mentors by completing the OCN NI Level 1 Award in Peer Mentoring for Young People and/or OCN NI Level 2 Award in Peer Mentoring Practice.
2-Awareness raising – Two elements- a) Raising awareness among young people r.e dangers of gaming & screen time and options for treatment & support & b) Young people leading on raising awareness among adults (parents/guardians/teachers/youth leaders etc) regarding gaming and the gaming industry (i.e gaming terminology); skills & motivations and risk factors to look out for.
3-Mindfulness – Delivered weekly as an alternative to gaming for participants (i.e being in your physical body as opposed to virtual); working towards emotional regulation; young people being aware in the moment and encourage ‘mindful practice’ as opposed to ‘mindless practice’. Being ‘mindful aware’ will enable participants to step back when stressed. The programme will work with schools/youth organisations to incorporate mindfulness into their day to day work with young people.
The programme will teach parents/guardians/youth leaders techniques to incorporate at home with their own children.
4-Counselling initiatives- 1 to 1 delivery with young people as follows-
-‘SMART Recovery’- Self Management and Recovery Training;
-Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT)
5 – Creation of a safe online support forum (with peer/leader) & Dunlewey project lead oversight. We anticipate this to be an Informal communication mechanism initially with online ‘drop in’ options for young people who need support to speak with someone directly via a “chat” tool. After year 1, potentially work towards a more formalised delivery with free information, advice and support for anyone affected by gaming/screen time addiction.
6-Diversionary activities – Bolt on programmes & activities outside the main bulk of delivery as above. For example, day trips to Google & Microsoft as well as outdoor youth activities etc.