Tomorrow is World Mental Health Day and we reflect on the importance and responsibility of youth work in supporting the mental health of young people.
Youth work and group activity provides an open and welcoming space for young people to connect, make friends and express any struggles they may be facing. Mental health struggles, anxieties and stress can affect any one of any age for any reason and young people can sometimes feel that their mental health is often overlooked or dismissed as expressed by some of our young people below;
At Paisley YMCA, we provide a safe space for both young people who attend regularly and more recent newcomers to know they can confide in our staff or each other about what they are feeling or even simply destress and let go of their anxieties in a fun and creative way during club time. We can also signpost to relevant mental health support to help these young people with what they are going through;
NHS 24: 111 (open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day)
Childline: 0800 1111 (open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day)
Samaritans: 116 123 (open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day)
Papyrus: 0800 068 4141 (open 365 days a year, 9am – midnight)
Today is an important day to remind us that conversations surrounding mental health often begin with encouraging others to feel safe and secure to confide in people they can trust, and how especially true this is for young people who may be going through a difficult time. They will go on to shape the future for all of us and the goal of those in youth work should be to see they do so in the best state of mind possible.
“We’ve seen what some people do when they don’t know anything else to do with their anger. I’m convinced that when we help our children find healthy ways of dealing with their feelings–ways that don’t hurt them or anyone else–we’re helping to make our world a safer, better place.” – Fred Rogers