Junction49: the projects innnovating solutions to youth mental health issues
By vSarah 10th July 12
Our online platform, Junction49, supports young people to set up their own social action projects, tackling the issues that matter to them.
These range from tackling youth unemployment to addressing gun and knife crime – but one of the most common recent themes for projects ismental health.
Some projects can be difficult reading, with young people talking about their own personal experiences of diagnosable mental illnesses.
But it certainly makes me want to take action. In fact, I’ve recently signed up to be a mentor on a youth mental health project as a result.
What fills me with hope is that these young people are openly talking about their experiences and coming up with fantastic ideas to actively do something to change attitudes and services. Surely this can only lead to the stigma surrounding mental health starting to be eradicated?
Nearly everyday I see something in the news on this subject. Whether it be MPs opening up during a momentous debate in Parliament about their own difficulties with their mental health.or a report published recently which stated that 1 in 10 children and young people aged 5-16 suffer from a diagnosable mental health disorder (that’s 3 children in every class).
This isn’t a topic to be taken lightly and ignored. Now is the time to act and our young people on Junction49 are doing just that.
Here are some of the most inspiring projects currently running…
Mind the Gap
vInspired National Award Winner, Joanna Mayes has set-up Mind the Gap, offering support sesssions for people who have a mental health issue or know someone who has. She’s also compiling a report she conducted with 500 participants to find out what support services people want.
Fed up with being put on a long waiting list to receive support for depression, Priya decided to try “pet therapy”, adopting an abandoned rabbit from a rescue centre which helped her to recover. She’s now creating a website to ensure other young people get the similar support they need.
No Body is Perfect
Having suffered from an eating disorder and faced discrimination at school, Tierna aims to go into schools in her local area and raise awareness about mental health issues to ensure no one else has to go through what she experienced. Tierna says: “My inspiration comes from my own personal experiences of feeling lost in the system and confused by conflicting info from people trying to help me.”
The Mental Health Education Project
The Mental Health Education Project was set up in 2007. It’s a multi-dimensional education and campaign project, which aims to raise awareness of Mental Health, teach young people ways of dealing with stress and other Mental Health issues. They make lesson plans, learning resources, awareness videos and drama sketches suitable for all ages and abilities.
If you’d like to get involved in any of the above ideas, or would like to set up your own project, head to Junction49 for support, ideas and inspiration.
For further mental health resources and support: