A youth leadership project concerned with challenging negative attitudes surrounding the issue of mental health, raising awareness about mental health problems, providing support and advice for young people, and opening up a frank public discussion.

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Twitter @otrbristol

Who we are

Mentality, aged between 13-19,  are committed to filling the gap which exists in the mental health information available to young people.

Where we're based

Bristol

When we started

December 2009

How we started

Mentality has its roots in the charity Off the Record, which provides counselling and youth support in Bristol. The starting point of the project was a Health Check carried out by young people in 2009/10 which revealed that a large proportion of young people saw mental health in a negative light. The group raised  funds to co-operate in breaking down this stigma.

Our work

Mentality meet weekly to design and develop public mental health campaigns around reducing stigma and any other issues of importance they may choose, such as body image, dealing with anger, and coping with exam stress. After designing and developing materials in the form of badges or t-shirts, the group then take their message to any school, youth setting, festival or event that will have them, spreading the positive message that we all have mental health and it’s important to look after it.

Our work has gained recognition from the NHS Bristol, which is providing the group with funding and is working with us to design a programme for improving mental health services in schools.

Future plans

Mentality have many plans for the future, including developing a resource book for young people with self help tips. We also plan to organise more events to raise awareness of mental health, to help schools improve their mental health services in Bristol, to set up a peer education programme in schools and to keep attending as many public events as possible to raise awareness.

Project website

http://otrbristol.org.uk/campaigns

"We are sending a message out that we all have mental health, meaning that we all have thoughts and feelings; good and bad ones. We should speak out about our own mental health and we should look after our mental health."

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