As part of the project Storyliving, the piloting of the course on the use of storytelling for those working with young people with mental health disorders took place from September to December 2022 with 119 Greek, Italian, German, Spanish and Macedonian psychologists, personal assistants, carers, teachers, therapists, special educators, trainers, youth workers, social workers as well as with youth with ASD. The training programme is also available online on the project website.
The training promoted the tool of storytelling as a methodology for processing emotions, and overcoming fears, trauma and isolation related to the COVID-19 pandemic for young people (18-25) with autism and other mental health disorders. The aim was to help young people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), and mental health disorders cope with the pandemic and promote their social inclusion through storytelling.
The Training Programme covered the impact of the pandemic, the tools for digital stotytelling, how to use the methodology of storytelling and digital storytelling andhow to accompany children in telling their own story.
The feedback from the participants was very positive and at the same time reflects the problem that they do not work much with digital tools and that this is often new territory for them. They emphasised that they found the new approach to dealing with and managing experiences very innovative and that it would give them new opportunities for creative work. They also felt that this form of coping would be particularly appropriate for some young people who are reluctant to express themselves verbally.
Participants found the course quite educational and interesting. Undoubtedly, they have clearer ideas on how to adopt the storytelling methodology to promote the inclusion process of pupils with disabilities. According to one of them, “The ideas and suggestions were a valuable source from which to take inspiration in a creative, original and didactically appropriate manner”.