Mind Children and Young People’s project- Peer led approaches: young people

  • Portfolio total project costs: £3,163,970
  • Total funding received from BIG: £3,163,970
  • Total number of beneficiaries: 31,173

Activities

Mind delivered a wide range of awareness raising activities and campaigns through its Time to Change portfolio. This included work with schools in five regions, such as train the trainer sessions for teachers and campaign training for young people, as well as organising pop-up Village events in four of the regions. 363 schools ran social marketing activity, with adverts published in the Times Education Supplement and Guardian Teacher’s Network. The campaign reached 2.37 million young people.

The schools project worked with 25 secondary schools across five regions, (London, North West, South West, North East and East of England) utilising a train the trainers package and a leadership package developed through the preceding regional pilots and Wellbeing 1 programme. The project explored mental health stigma and helped schools run anti-stigma campaigns. It was delivered over a school term. Local authority school improvement teams, healthy schools teams, and public health teams helped identify schools to participate and to promote the project to schools.

The primary target group was 14-18 year olds. Young leaders from Years 10 and 12 were recruited by Student Councils, including some sixth-form psychology students. Mind delivered leader training on mental health awareness and anti-stigma discrimination, and ways to use the resources. A lead teacher was appointed in each school to help students run a campaign. Most of the school staff involved were pastoral staff, Heads of Year, and PSHE leads.

Activities included hosting a Time to Change Day and series of school assemblies. Schools were also encouraged to roll the project out to the wider community – through stalls at community events, newsletter articles and parents’ evenings.

Participant/community impacts and sustainability

The portfolio worked towards a key change indicator of young people’s likelihood of discussing mental health. The portfolio aimed to reach 24,425 children and young people (aged 11-18) through 25 schools, with 50% of these stating they would be more likely to discuss their own/someone else’s mental health following participation. By the end of the grant, the portfolio had reached 28,754 children and young people in 25 schools. 19% of young people surveyed in three schools reported speaking about mental health in the previous month (McPin Foundation) and 41% talked about mental health to family and/ or friends; 36% in school/college (SPA Future Thinking).

The project lead highlighted the important role played by local authorities in engaging local schools:

“What worked really well was having a really frank conversation with the local authorities…and they identified the schools they felt best placed to take part…the schools trust them.” (Children & Young People project lead, Mind).

The project was designed to empower schools to continue running activities independently in the longer term, although Mind will carry on providing light touch support via email. Mind is currently piloting school senior leader networks to raise awareness of mental health stigma. Time to Change has successfully secured funding (£4.6 million) for a programme of work in 2015/16 from the Big Lottery Fund (£1.1 million), Department of Health (£2.5 million) and Comic Relief (£1 million). The five regions are also developing work locally, for example Liverpool Mind is working with Merseyside Youth Association and CAMHS to support the network

→Further details and references in the Wellbeing 2 evaluation