Give us a break! is an 8 week programme, written by South Lanarkshire Council Psychological Services and NHS Lanarkshire, for young people aged 10-14 years who are coping with negative change in their lives. The programme acknowledges that loss and grief are a normal part of life and are experienced uniquely by each individual. It supports young people in managing the emotional consequences of loss. The real value of this programme lies in its flexibility, and the solution-focused theoretical framework which underpins all of Give us a break! Many colleagues from a wide range of professional backgrounds contributed generously to the development of the resource and the published materials were significantly enriched by an extensive consultation exercise within the local authority, which included the views of young people and parents who participated in the pilot Give us a break! groups. The programme pack contains an introduction and general information, notes and lessons plans for each week, resource sheets for all activities, and notes on working with parents.
The collaboration with Macmillan Cancer Support has been invaluable. Without the generous financial support and wonderful encouragement from our Macmillan colleagues, Give us a break! would not be in its present form, nor would there be the vision for a national rollout. The knowledge base of key practitioners would not have been extended and young people would not have benefitted from being involved in the Give us a break! groups.