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Online parent support group, SOS - Save Our Spoons (formerly South Staffs CAMHs Online Parent Support Group), has been given a refreshing makeover.

Save Our Spoons offers a relaxing, safe and supportive environment for families of children with a mental health need living in South Staffordshire.

The group meets each Wednesday in term time and is run by a mental health practitioner and parent with lived experience.

SOS families get support, guidance and sign-posting, learn new skills, and make friends with people who truly understand.

Chanté (Senior Parent Peer Supporter) and Bethan (Mental Health Practitioner) – who run the group – welcome new families and listen to what they want from the sessions.

There is always space for sharing experiences and time for asking for support. Sessions are flexible, depending on what families bring to the group each week. In short, the families always come first.

Some sessions offer wellbeing activities whereas others are topic based. Past topics have included Autism, sleep hygiene, anxiety, depression, self-harm, self-care, and local services.

Upcoming topics include digital wellbeing, peer volunteer training, and gambling addiction awareness – to name but a few!

The group regularly welcome guest speakers and are always looking for more to join them. Guest speakers have included clinicians, nurses, peer supporters, charity workers and experts by lived experience, such as parents of children and adults who have been through CAMHs themselves.

Why the Spoons?

We’re proud to call ourselves a service that works with and listens to our families. One thought we kept coming back to in our sessions was the Spoon Theory.

In a nutshell, the idea is that everyone starts the day with 12 spoons. Each daily activity uses up a certain number of spoons, before we eventually run out and need to recharge our batteries. So making breakfast might use up one spoon whereas cooking a three course meal for six people may use up four or five spoons.

You can recuperate spoons by doing things like resting, sleeping, exercising or taking a bath.

But what happens if you don’t start the day with 12 spoons? For people whose children have a physical or mental health need they may start the day with only eight spoons.

What if they have a chronic illness themselves? Or are a single parent family? Or have more than one child with additional needs? It’s no wonder so many families in our group feel like they are running on empty!

For more information or to register to join SOS, please visit https://camhs.mpft.nhs.uk/ 

If you, or someone you know, has something to offer the group and are willing to come along to meet our lovely families, please email CAMHSParentSupport@mpft.nhs.uk