A write up on the Youth Mental Health Matters Event that took place on the 5th October 2018, by one of the wonderful young members of the team, Jessie Leigh.
Schools and provisions from across Trafford came together, all with one aim in common, to talk about how Youth Mental Health Matters. To say the day was a success is very much an understatement, it was incredible! From starting off the day with “Human Bingo,” which allowed young people to overcome those first nervous barriers and get to know the people around them better. And with the prize of a tangler there was not much that could go wrong!
The day began with a morning of three sessions, with the young people and adults split into sessions tailored to them. The young people workshops gave an insightful look into mental wellbeing on a personal and social level. We worked with Gorse Hill Studios to create “mental health” emojis, which were emojis that communicated emotions such as anxiety. These emojis will hopefully be used by Gorse Hill in a new project to help young people communicate what they are feeling without the use of words. This is just one example of one of the incredible workshops that were run through the day.
After a lunch of pizza which was a success, and the fruit maybe not so much! The afternoon was also full of engaging workshops. Including a workshop, ran in conjuction with Youth Focus NW, in which young people learnt what they can do on a community level how to change something. Whether it be running a campaign on mental health stigma or teaching their community about mental wellbeing. Learning that the more voices shouting that Youth Mental Health Matters, the more powerful it will be!
The day ended with an inspirational speech by Anna Jackson, an incredible person who shared her story about how she turned her life around and is now coaching wheelchair basketball and proving that you really can achieve anything in your life, no matter your barriers.
Hopefully here is to many more years of creating awareness around youth mental health, and the small actions we take as a society can create a huge impact. Lauren really has sent the message to hundreds of young people across Manchester not to be ashamed of your story because it will inspire others. What mental health needs is more sunlight, more honesty, more courage and more unashamed conversation, Youth Mental Health Matters are slowly making this happen.
“You are not broken, you are breaking through”