11 July 2018
On the 3rd of July, we held a meeting of our new Wellbeing and Mental Health Network. This network was established to assist youth work professionals in supporting the wellbeing and mental health needs of the young people they work with. It is open to London Youth members, recipients of London Youth’s Development Grant, and professionals or organisations involved in providing wellbeing and mental health support to young people.
The network is an opportunity to share best practice, to network, to receive updates on what is going on in the sector, and to hear from other experts and policymakers.
Dan Lescure, Greater London Authority
Dan spoke about the work that the GLA is doing in the mental health space, including:
- Better Health for All Londoners: The Mayor’s Health Inequalities Strategy
- Young Londoners Fund (closed 9th of July)
- Young London Inspired (closed 9th of July)
Dan stressed that the GLA has sought to integrate wellbeing and mental health goals into all of their workstreams. He said that the GLA are always interested in engaging with the community sector.
Kerry O’Brien, Young Urban Arts Foundation
Kerry spoke about the work that her charity does to improve young people’s mental health through creativity and culture. As Kerry put it, she knows her approach works because “music saved my life.”
Young Urban Arts Foundation operates a multimedia bus that they take to areas of particular deprivation, working with local authorities and housing associations to do creative outreach. She discussed Skip to the Beat, a 3 month self-discovery programme, and Peer Education Training, which trains young people in mental and emotion wellbeing and supports them to visit schools and pass on their knowledge.
Kerry discussed the importance of giving young people the tools to understand and improve their own emotional wellbeing, as well as building confidence and resilience. She discussed how this, and consistent, positive adult relationships were important parts of their programmes.