A leap towards positive mental health for young people

Young people across Scotland are celebrating a £300,000 cash boost from the Year of Young People National Lottery Fund that will help them spark a change in their lives.  Amongst them is 18 year old Dylan Deans, a young leader for Young Movers (YoMo)a Glasgow based youth empowerment charity, which receives £10,000 to promote positive mental health amongst young people.

In this guest blog, Dylan tells us why he and his fellow young volunteers are so passionate about the project:

“Why are there only interventions when your mental health becomes negative? We need to be taught that taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health.”

“As young people we feel that our mental health is not always taken seriously by adults, this is something we want and need to change.”

“Young people are faced with so many pressures over the course of a short amount of time yet there seems to be a lack of conversations around how to take care of yourself mentally.”

We’re a group of young volunteers at YoMo who support the development of YoMo services across the area by ensuring that our programmes are youth led. As a group we highlighted the above concerns to YoMo staff.

Dylan (centre) is a young leader and volunteer at YoMo

We’ve come together as we want to promote the key message that everyone needs to take care of their mental health, just as much as it is important to take care of your physical and nutritional health. Through this project we plan to create training and a tool kit to equip young people with the techniques and exercises to take care of their mental health. We hope that starting these conversations will reduce the stigma of mental health and promote positive mental health in young people.

As a young leader at YoMo, I’ve been involved in developing and designing this project idea from the beginning. I love that our ideas are listened to and we’re supported to design a project like this as we all feel it’s such an important issue.  The National Lottery funding will allow us young people to explore this important issue of mental health, which will not only allow us to gain knowledge and skills but pass this vital information onto others.

We would hope that young people will gain an understanding not only of mental health in general but a deeper understanding of their own mental health. We also hope that through this training young people will be able to build resilience and become more self-aware.

YoMo is one of 37 heritage, community and sports organisations sharing in funding from the Year of Young People National Lottery Fund.  The funding has been made possible, thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, in a joint scheme from Scotland’s National Lottery distributors –  Big Lottery Fund, Heritage Lottery Fund, sportscotland and Spirit of 2012, a UK trust endowed with cash from the Big Lottery Fund. 

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