Team Aims To Reduce Stigma Over Mental Health

15 May 2015

Minds Alrite – a group of young people who have been working in partnership with Relate Bedfordshire & Luton – are running workshops in their first school this month at the start of their mental health awareness project.

The group has chosen Mental Health Awareness Week in May for their first workshops which are being held at Bedford Academy. The Minds Alrite group won Rotary funding in support of their project in a regional competition run by UpRising (www.uprising.org.uk), a UK-wide youth leadership development organisation.

Emily, who co-ordinates the group’s work with Relate, says mental health issues among young people are on the increase.

Disorders affect 10.4% of boys aged 5‐10, rising to 12.8% of boys aged 11‐15, and 5.9% of girls aged 5‐10, rising to 9.65% of girls aged 11‐15, according to the Office for National Statistics. One in 10 children between the ages of one and 15 has a mental health disorder.

The Minds Alrite workshops are targeted at 15‐16 year olds and designed to grow awareness among pupils about common mental health issues and symptoms.

“We’re aiming to reduce stigma and misconceptions by discussing personal experiences arising from mental health issues,” says Emily, “but also to frame the discussion in a positive light, talking through various treatments and how young people can work through these problems.”

The Minds Alrite team may include some of their personal experiences in the workshops and they hope that the young people they meet might relate to them particularly because they are only a few years older, like an elder brother or sister.

Schools interested in the workshops are invited to contact Relate so we can put you in touch with the team. Email: peter.law@relatebedsandluton.org.uk.

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