The Decider Life Skills half day workshops in Guernsey

Guernsey's secondary and primary care mental health services jointly run The Decider Life Skills as a half-day workshop.

55 clients and 23 staff completed questionnaires during 5 workshops during 2016.

Each attendee completed a questionnaire using a Likert scale of 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree) regarding effective coping skills.

The mean score for service users' self-rated effective coping skills at the start of workshop was 13.9 and  20.9 at end of workshop.

Staff's mean scores increased from 20 at start of workshop to 26.3 at end of workshop.


Written feedback received:

  • A very informative workshop. Thank you.
  • Thank you! This is a very helpful workshop to help explain the skills that people can use when they’re feeling the fizz. It would be great if you could run courses like this in primary school, especially now the new curriculum is addressing mental health and wellbeing.
  • Have found this very useful but not totally relevant in coping with anxiety and ways to do so, more relevant to anger and stress. But overall will be used in my day to day life. Very entertaining too!
  • Not sure how much I’ll be able to remember.
  • A very inspiring, entertaining workshop. Very informative. Thank you.
  • Thank you. The course was very interesting. I came to support my friend as she felt I needed the course as well. And I did. Thank you again.
  • Thank you very much… a thought provoking workshop …I shall visit the website. Thanks again for all the energy you put into today’s presentation.
  • Just a big thank you.
  • Thank you so much for this course. I was very anxious about coming but am so glad I did. It was a serious topic presented in a fun way which will definitely help me with my emotions.
  • Very informative and interesting course. I will admit I was sceptical at first but I feel that if I implement these actions it will help me greatly.
  • Although this workshop was very good, because I have been so mentally unwell for so long without any help, I have already started doing a lot of these myself. I think if anything this has made me realise how far I have come and how proud I am of myself!
  • I have heard about the skills but only briefly, this has deepened my understanding though I think they should be taught sooner.
  • Very helpful in a light-hearted and comical manner!
  • Immediately, I don’t believe huge amounts have changed, I do however believe that with some time to practise these skills, I may be able to make these a natural part of my thought processes. I do feel with time it will help.
  • I am hopeful, however until I have had the chance to use these skills I do not know how well they will work, but am eager to try.
  • I am 37 and for the past 20 years I never thought I could change. This has given me hope. Thank you.
  • This was really helpful – I thought of lots of everyday examples where I could be using these skills to manage better. Thank you.
  • Was a great way to get the 12 skills across. Acting out each skills really makes a statement.
  • Personable and informative course. Many skills which I use with my service users and some which I have not but now will! Relaxed environment and delivered with great effect.
  • Very useful personally and also I can see many ways I can use it with the people I work with.
  • I like the way it was set out
  • A well presented course that delivered the information clearly
  • Easily understandable. Easy to know when to use. Enjoyed a lot. Many thanks.


Read the full report

Read More

CBT & DBT Evidence

A summary of the evidence basis for Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), the psychological theory and practice that serve as the foundation for the Decider Skills.


James Murray & Lia Tostevin

The Decider Life Skills in Schools

Evidence suggesting increased mental health and wellbeing problems with children gives a rationale for developing and delivering proactive interventions. The Decider Skills is a framework that aims to teach children skills to manage their emotions and wellbeing. This study looked at whether students who participate in the programme as a whole-school approach would demonstrate an increased ability to recognise and better manage their emotions as rated by themselves, their parents, and their teachers.


The Decider Skills - The Evidence

The Decider Skills - evidence for each of the skills


The Decider Life Skills - The Evidence

Read the evidence underpinning each of The Decider Life Skills


Dr Bruce Perry, Beacon House

The Three Rs

Dr Bruce Perry, a pioneering neuroscientist in the field of trauma, has shown us that to help a vulnerable child to learn, think and reflect, we need to intervene in a simple sequence.


The Decider Life Skills in a primary school

The Decider Life Skills as a whole school approach at Amherst Primary School, Guernsey


Susan Hynes

North of Scotland CAMHS

Feedback from a 2 day workshop attended by CAMHS professionals & from young service users. The Decider has since "become embedded in the Inpatient Unit and proved to be very popular with the young people with a good regular weekly attendance. This is a fairly new group but has been measured using the DERS 18 questionnaire which measures aspects of emotional regulation. The results of the group are promising"


Prison Case Study

A Case Study of The Decider Skills being effectively used in a Prison


Evaluation of Upturn Young Person’s Service

University of Southampton's report into Upturn Young Person's Service 2017 using The Decider Life Skills


Chris Phillps & Jenny Burgess, NHS Grampian 2018

NHS Grampian: The Decider Skills Pilot Group

Results from The Decider Skills pilot group held in Aberdeen


The Decider Life Skills in Guernsey

A poster presentation providing a summary of studies 2017


Ann Cunningham & Marion Pink 2019

Wicklow, Ireland

Summary and outcomes for The Decider Skills course in Wicklow, Ireland from January to March 2019.


Eimear O'Sullivan & Eimear Grogan 2018

Building resilience in mental health nurses

Increasing resilience by teaching The Decider Life Skills to student mental health nurses in Ireland


The Decider Life Skills in a secondary school

Ladies College in Guernsey implemented The Decider Life Schools as a pilot project over the 2015-2016 academic year.


The Decider Skills pilot study 2013

Results of the initial pilot study with 20 long term mental health service users which formed the foundation of The Decider Skills programme in 2012-2013.


Dr James Murray

CAMHS data for The Decider Skills

Outcome data for young people who completed The Decider Skills group in 2016


NHS Highland and Robert Gordon University 2018

Delivering The Decider Life Skills via Highland Pharmacists

A multi-perspective evaluation of specialist mental health clinical pharmacist prescribers practising within general practices in NHS Highland


Portlaoise Poster

The Decider Skills group show evidence of a reduction in global distress, anxiety and depression


The Hub

The Hub in a Guernsey secondary school

The Hub teaches The Decider Life Skills to a target group of students


STOPP skill - the evidence base


Lockdown in a specialised rehabilitation unit


Palumbo, R., Di Domenico, A., Fairfield, B. et al.


When twice is better than once: increased liking of repeated items influences memory in younger and older adults