Young people have their say on mental health

Following the launch of a new £1.2 million emotional health and wellbeing support project in September, a group of Plymouth young people have agreed to share a short film they produced for secondary school teachers.

The film was created by a group of six young people between the ages of 15 and 17 who were involved in the initial development of the project, highlighting the need for mental health support in schools and what this should include. The group were asked to produce a keynote speech to put across the voice of young people to school staff about their experience of mental ill-health.  

The film was part of a specialist mental health support package for young people that also includes supporting schools to embed a whole school approach to emotional health and wellbeing, online and face to face counselling, Theraplay and specialist mental health workers who are based at schools.

The training for staff also featured a speech by Dr Hilary Emery who has recently developed a toolkit to support schools with emotional health and wellbeing. Dr Hilary was so impressed with the young people’s film she has shared it with colleagues at the National Children’s Bureau and it features in their online blog.

17 year old Serena was part of the project she said: “This was such a great project to be a part of. I love that our message is being shared far and wide.”

The video features young people and provides their perspective of an incident, mirrored against the teacher’s perspective. The reflections from the event resulted in the young person accessing support and the teacher recognising she needed support too, and her wanting to set up support systems for students.

Councillor Terri Beer, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People said: “We know that our young people feel very strongly about issues such as mental health and I’m incredibly proud that they have produced this film which is now being shared nationally.”

To see the film, please visit