DDN Sept_2022 September 2022 - Page 15


Humankind ’ s Insight services have been providing vital help to young people in London who ’ ve suffered early trauma , explains Sharon Pedliham

Over the last decade , Humankind ’ s Insight young people and family services have provided drug , alcohol and sexual health support to thousands of young people and families across London . The Insight services , which operate in Haringey , Kensington and Chelsea , Westminster and Lewisham , provide information , advice , guidance and support to children , young people and families who are impacted by , or living with , drug and alcohol use .

Many of the young people that Insight support have experienced early childhood trauma which can result in disrupted attachment , cognitive delays and impaired emotional regulation . Parental drug and alcohol use can create conflict in families which may also cause trauma in childhood .
Through a range of approaches including one-to-one support , group work , digital interventions
Insight services , which operate in Haringey , Kensington and Chelsea , Westminster and Lewisham , provide information , advice , guidance and support to children , young people and families and family sessions , children and young people are supported in a safe place to understand their emotions and build on their resilience , and are taught healthy ways to manage things differently .
We know that adverse childhood experiences ( ACEs ) during the early years of development , such as abuse and neglect , can do lifelong harm – often referred to in our sector as hidden harm .
So we use a strength-based , age-appropriate , approach to listening to the voice of the child or young person , developing an improved sense of wellbeing and positivity to help them recover , and providing them with life skills which will help them reach their potential .
Insight Platform and Insightful Families have been commissioned by the London Borough of Haringey since 2013 . Sarah Hart , senior commissioner for substance misuse and sexual health services described the value of the services , stating that a standalone young people ’ s and families service is ‘ important to us in Haringey , and together we have done innovative work around children affected by parental alcohol use and created a whole family approach . We have many ways to address family trauma , including having hidden harm workers in schools , parenting programmes and , really importantly , family activities . We are also just about to launch a page for parents on DrinkCoach , which has been made by our families to help others .’
Sharon Pedliham is Humankind area manager for London and the South
To find out more about the Insight children , young people and families services , visit https :// insightyoungpeople . org . uk /
TIA was impacted by trauma from a young age , and this caused them to struggle with anxiety . When Tia started secondary school , they were bullied daily and this , combined with their earlier childhood trauma , led them to use drugs , initially recreationally . Tia ’ s drug use quickly escalated , and they were using cannabis daily and self-harming . After getting caught using drugs by teachers , Tia was excluded from school and referred to Insight Platform in Haringey .
Tia found Insight really helpful – ‘ I felt like I was in a safe space and able to talk about what was going on . The service was friendly and it was really easy to connect with my key worker and we gelled . I could talk about why I was using drugs and how it was linked to my trauma and anxiety . I learnt about the harms to my mental and physical wellbeing that using cannabis caused . My one-to-one sessions were both face-to-face and online which I liked , and I also enjoyed coming to the events at the service .’
Tia has now started at a new school , is no longer using cannabis and has new friends who are supportive and understanding Tia has also discovered a renewed love of photography and focusing on this has really helped them .