This resource aims to provide self-help support for young people aged 12-17 with Congenital Melanocytic Naevi (CMN). These self-help techniques are designed to improve confidence, self-esteem, tackle anxious feelings and equip young people with the skills they need to feel comfortable in their own skin.
Introduction to the online Teens Resource
Throughout 2021, researchers from the Centre for Appearance Research (CAR) have been working in partnership with Caring Matters Now to produce an online support resource for our teenage members. Our teenage members supported the development of the Teens Resource by sharing their insights and thoughts about the content they would find most important and helpful, including dealing with the reactions from others, engaging with social media, improving self-confidence, and age-appropriate medical information about CMN. The researchers further developed the online resource by utilising their own professional knowledge on age-appropriate therapeutic methods to improve self-confidence and self-esteem when living with a visible difference, such as CMN.
The Teens Resource is highly sophisticated and professional, yet accessible to all teenagers. The resource provides simple and effective psychoeducational activities which can be worked through at home by all teenage members. As a charity, we take great pride in the fact that our young people have been involved in developing the resource from the very beginning and therefore, we have confidence the Teens Resource will benefit the mental wellbeing of all our young people.
As a charity, we would like to offer our teenage members the opportunity to walk through the online Teens Resource with our Support Pathway Coordinator, Hannah Cree. Hannah can guide teenage members through the resource, utilising the content that is most appropriate to them individual teens. Hannah will be able to explain the purpose of the activities and ensure that our teenage members are using the resource to its upmost potential.
Hannah is also available to work through the resource with parents of teenagers living with CMN, so parents can utilise the resource at home with their teenager. If you would be interested in any of these options, please do not hesitate to contact me at [email protected].
An introduction to Hannah Cree, Support Pathway Practitioner
My name is Hannah Cree, I am the Support Pathway Practitioner for Caring Matters Now. I first came into contact with Caring Matters Now in 2014 when our son was born with scalp CMN and so, we reached out to the charity for support. Previous to that, I had graduated from Queen’s University Belfast with a 2.1 Honors degree in Psychology in 2010, followed by a 2.1 Bachelor of Social Work in 2012. Both degrees equipped me with a deep understanding of cognitive development, mental wellbeing, the impact of trauma and life experiences, communication skills, and therapeutic interventions. To date, these skills have equipped me to work as a counsellor and supervisor for NSPCC, as a respite carer for a child with physical disabilities and within youth work. In the same way, my skills and experience have been transferable to my role in supporting members of Caring Matters Now, developing the charity’s support strategy and ensuring families affected by CMN receive an appropriate level of support. I would be more than happy to work through the online Teens Resource with any of our teenage members and/or parents of teenagers affected by CMN.
Information for Parents and Young People
Please speak to a parent/guardian about using this resource, especially if you are under the age of 16. This resource includes some activities which can be difficult and require practice. If you are struggling with anything, ask a parent/guardian for help or contact the support pathway coordinator who will be able to help you.
Please note, this resource is not intended to be used as an intensive mental health intervention. If you suspect you/your child needs further support and this resource is not suitable, please contact your GP. Alternatively, check out YP Face IT: a free 6-week online programme specifically developed for young people with visible differences.
Who made this resource?
This resource was developed by a team at the Centre for Appearance Research (CAR) at the University of the West of England and Caring Matters Now, and was funded by the VTCT Foundation. With special thanks to the young people on the Young Ambassadors scheme who provided content and invaluable feedback for the resource.