InTER-ACT is a universal (non-targeted) preventative mental health programme for secondary school aged pupils. InTER-ACT consists of three hour long evidence-based wellbeing workshops delivered to groups of adolescents by facilitators who have attended the two day InTER-ACT Facilitators Training.
The InTER-ACT programme has been carefully developed and refined over a five year period through a meticulous continuous improvement research programme based at Cardiff University. This has involved comprehensive consultation with young people, teachers and facilitators to ensure a programme that is engaging, relevant and effective.
Workshop 1: Thoughts are Just Thoughts
- Through fun experiments, students are introduced to the idea that trying to control thoughts tends to be pretty counterproductive.
- Students learn about why our thoughts are often negative and how this has actually helped us to survive.
- Students are taught effective skills to enable them to ‘unhook’ from difficult thoughts so they are free to do what’s important to them.
Workshop 2: Pause, Observe, Describe
- In this workshop, students are asked ‘can we control what we feel’? This is then tested out with a number of interactive exercises.
- The challenges of having a ‘time travelling mind’ are discussed.
- Students learn how to connect with the present moment using the senses and a simple mindfulness exercise.
- The skill of taking a ‘POD’ pause is introduced and students are given a chance to practise their noticing skills whilst watching an emotive video.
Workshop 3: Takings Steps Towards What Matters
- In the final workshop we look at how the things we get told are most important in life don’t tally with research about wellbeing!
- Students are given the opportunities to think about what matters most to them in life i.e., when they feel most connected and alive.
- Having identified their top 5 personal values, students get to identify small steps they can take to act in line with these qualities.
- A summary of key learning points and skills concludes the programme.
Watch some clips from the InTER-ACT workshops.