Stop Gap Go
Stop Gap Go® is a person-centred, experiential wellbeing program for the whole school community, including children, young people, teachers and parents. It introduces the skills of attention training (through the cultivation of mindfulness), contemplation skills training (through the cultivation of discernment) and emotional awareness skills training (through understanding self in relation to others). It is based on the premise that children with higher levels of emotional, behavioural and school wellbeing have higher levels of academic achievement and are more engaged in school. It is taught in the classroom with visuals, demonstrations, animation, and activities, is designed to engage every student, and is all about empowering young minds to succeed and be resilient within the school and home environment.
At its heart it aims to empower young minds and provide a toolbox to equip them to better understand themselves, their emotions, their relationships and how to best learn, think clearly, develop and live successfully. It aims to enable students to be calmer, feel happier, be more fulfilled, increase concentration, improve engagement and daily embrace the opportunities and challenges which school life brings as well as provide the building blocks for health and well being in later life. It is designed to be taught within the school timetable or with selected students to address particular problems such as disruptive behaviour, stress, anxiety, depression or mental health issues.
Stop Gap Go has been introduced to a number of schools in the North West including main stream and referral units. Stop Gap Go is available for teachers, parents, secondary and primary school education.
In audited studies using a control group, wellbeing has been evaluated using the WEMWBS psychological scale and anxiety has been evaluated using the GAD 7 psychological scale. Outcome measures on the STOP GAP GO group were taken prior to commencement and upon completion of the 8-week program. Identical outcome measures were taken for the control group. The control group received no intervention over the same 8-week period.
WEMWBS (Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-Being Scale):
The WEMWBS scale has the following bands of wellbeing:
0 to 32 – Very low;
32 to 40 – Below average;
40 to 59 – Average;
59 to 70 – Above average.
STOP GAP GO intervention group showed an average increase of 5.44 points, from 36.67 to 42.11, on the WEMWBS scale. The group average therefore improved from “below average” to “average” on the WEMWBS scale.
Over the same period the control group showed an average decrease of 12 points, from 42 to 30, on the WEMWBS scale. The group average decreased from “above average” to “very low”, on the WEMWBS scale, over the same period.
GAD 7 (General Anxiety Disorder):
The GAD 7 scale has the following bands of perceived anxiety:
0 to 4 – Normal
5 to 9 – Mild
10 to 14 – Moderate
15 to 21 – Severe.
Prior to delivery of the STOP GAP GO program, the intervention group had an average GAD 7 score of 15.44. Following delivery of STOP GAP GO, the intervention group had an average of 9.67. The group average GAD 7 anxiety score therefore decreased by 5.77, from severe anxiety, through the moderate and into the mild anxiety band.
Over the same period the control group showed an average decrease of 1.3 on the GAD 7 scale, from 6.4 to 5.1. Therefore, the control group started and remained in the mild anxiety GAD 7 band over the same period.
Efficacy of STOP-GAP-GO program:
Pre and post WEMWBS and GAD 7 scores for each student in the STOP-GAP-GO intervention group showed that the change in wellbeing correlated with the change in anxiety for each student. Audited outcomes from the Stop Gap Go programe have shown very promising results and form the basis for further research into the efficacy of this programe.