An innovative workshop to help boost the mental health of Trust staff is in the running for seven awards at a glittering ceremony this week.

The ‘Unlock Your Strengths’ positive psychology workshop initiative was led by Principal Clinical Psychologist Dr Kam Kahlwan and Assistant Psychologist Fauzia Khan from the Trust’s Older Adult Division, who have been shortlisted for seven categories at the InsideOut Awards 2024.

The duo curated the workshop as part of a Quality Improvement project and they pioneered its use for multidisciplinary staff working across the Older Adult Division in the Trust.

The aim of the workshops was to provide staff with an introduction to positive psychology, strengths and virtues, and to enable staff to develop tools to identify and enhance their strengths and coping strategies to benefit both their personal and professional lives.

The workshops comprised of interactive, reflective and creative exercises, such as creating a fantasy island, a strengths fan, and gratitude journal, among other activities.

The workshops were piloted to the Sandwell Enhanced Community Mental Health Team, the Trust’s Serious Incidents Team, Older Adults Leadership Team, and more recently to the Quality Improvement Team.

The feedback they received from colleagues was overwhelmingly positive, highlighting its wide-ranging benefits.

The team will find out at the award ceremony on 13 June if they have been successful in the seven categories they shortlisted in, which are: Most Innovative Initiative to Engage Colleagues, Best Application of Wellbeing Data, Best New Mental Health Initiative, Employer Initiative of The Year, Large Employer of The Year, Public Sector Employer of The Year, and Social Impact Award.

The ‘Unlock your Strengths’ Positive Psychology Workshop initiative is no stranger to receiving national recognition as only last year it was selected as a winner by the British Psychological Society Division of Counselling Psychology Annual Awards for Innovation. It was also shortlisted at the Trust’s annual staff awards in 2023.

Not only has the initiative been shortlisted for awards, Dr Kahlwan and Fauzia’s work has also been disseminated widely at a number of British Psychological Society Conferences, where it has received a warm reception from delegates across the country.