Young Person Face IT

Online support for young people with conditions or injuries affecting their appearance


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1. What is YP Face IT?

YP Face IT provides support and advice for any young person who has worries or is unhappy because they have an unusual appearance (what we call a visible difference). Conditions that can affect appearance are:

  • Skin conditions for example, vitiligo, ichthyosis, eczema, acne, psoriasis or other conditions that affect the texture of the skin such as neurofibromatosis and epidermolysis bullosa.
  • Scarring from accidents, burns or surgery
  • Medical treatments such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy
  • Conditions from birth, for example birthmarks, cleft lip or other craniofacial conditions.

YP Face IT has been designed by experts in the field of appearance psychology and young people with a range of conditions that affect appearance who understand the types of worries and problems you might be experiencing.

There are 7 sessions in YP Face IT. Each session has different exercises and activities and will take 45 - 60 minutes to complete. We'd like you to complete 1 session per week.

2. How will YP Face IT help me?

YP Face IT will help you to learn new skills and will give you useful tips so you feel more confident about the way you look.

You'll learn how to deal with situations that you find upsetting or uncomfortable.

It will help you feel more comfortable meeting new people and being with friends, going to the shops or clubs, playing sport, going to school or college.

YP Face IT will also allow you to test out social situations that you might find difficult on the computer (like going out in public or responding to people who stare or ask questions about your appearance), so that you can practise how to manage them and increase your confidence before trying it out for real.

While you are completing YP Face IT, you will have access to your own personal journal that you can use throughout the programme to record your feelings, experiences and progress. This is an important and helpful part of the programme and you will be able to access your journal at any time. Feel free to express your feelings however you want.

You can also visit the YP Face IT discussion forum. This is a place where you can meet and socialise with other young people who have a visible difference. You can discuss any concerns you may have or offer support to others. The forum is also a place where you can talk about your experiences of using YP Face it, for example, any difficulties you might be having or what you particularly like about the programme.

3. Is it difficult?

No, it's a simple program but you will need motivation and commitment to complete it. The key thing to remember about YP Face IT is that it's up to you how much or how little you get from it.

You'll be asked to do one session per week until you have completed all 7 sessions. But you can repeat sessions or revisit sections during the week or whenever you want to. After you've finished YP Face IT you will be sent a quiz to remind you of the skills you've learnt.

You'll also be asked to do some easy activities at home to help you practice what you've learnt. The more you practice your skills the more YP Face IT will help. If you forget to do the activity, don't worry we'll send you a text or an e-mail reminder.

4. Will YP Face IT really help?

The tips and advice provided are used by counsellors and support groups. An adult version called Face IT has already been scientifically tested and found to be very helpful.

This is the first time this programme has been available to young people. Here are two examples of young adults who found the tips and advice in Face IT helpful

Alice has scars on her face because of a road traffic accident: "I found the program very interesting. My biggest problem is that I feel differently about my scars at different times. Sometimes I feel very confident and I can deal with the negative aspects, like being looked at or asked questions, but sometimes I can't deal with it and I become quite depressed and feel helpless. The program has given me tools to use when I feel down, which make me more able to help myself rather than allowing situations to overwhelm me. Thank you very much for allowing me to take part".

Beatrice has hair loss: "At the beginning of the program I was feeling low, depressed and very anxious which made it hard for me to concentrate. I now feel very different. Face IT has helped me to realise why I felt so anxious".

Because YP Face IT is online it's particularly useful for young people who can't easily get help from health services or who don't want to talk about their worries face-to-face with an adult.

5. What if I can't do it ... what if it isn't working?

Nothing changes straight away - we all need time to learn new skills and it will take some people longer than others to come to terms with their appearance issues and learn to deal with them. The fact that you're even here, looking at YP Face IT, shows that you want to help yourself and have the ability to take control.

Remember that practice makes perfect. Doing the activities we give you in or after the sessions will make it easier to learn the new skills. But if you're having difficulty completing a certain activity, don't panic! If you don't succeed first time, that doesn't mean you have failed - DON'T GIVE UP! - have another go. Try to see times when you haven't succeeded as a chance to learn so that you can do things better next time.

Some people will find that YP Face IT is all the support they need, but others may need further support.

If you're finding life very difficult to deal with, then YP Face IT may not offer you enough support. In this situation, please seek further help.

The following page has details of different support groups that may be useful if you're upset, want someone to talk to, or want more information about your condition. These contacts are also available on the main menu screen.

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