The Royal Caledonian Education Trust has received generous funding from the Armed Forces Covenant Trust to deliver the Your Mind Matters Project to work directly with children and young people, from serving personnel and veteran families across Scotland, to co-produce new mental health and wellbeing services for peers and wider family.
The project is about putting the unique experiences of children and young people from forces families first, when it comes to mental health and wellbeing, and working together to better understand how these experiences can impact relationships with others, an ability to focus on important aspects in life and future pathways in life.
Therefore, nobody is better placed as an effective force for change than the children and young people we support, who are working with our team at the Royal Caledonian Education Trust to co-produce a bespoke digital platform of resources as well as face-to-face one-to-one, small group and peer mental health and wellbeing support services.
Since the project launch in February, a working group of children and young people has made fantastic progress with regard to working together to successfully set the foundation towards the development of the digital platform, many of whom are also working towards gaining an SCQF level 5 Participatory Democracy Certificate.
The continued COVID-19 Pandemic restrictions has meant the working group have worked together virtually, however, regular social check-in events have been introduced to help the working group develop rapport and get to know each other better through fun-based activities, which has included a quiz, scavenger hunt and bingo.
Hope is a member of our working group, who has shared her thoughts about the importance of the Your Mind Matters Project and calls for more Armed Forces young people to get involved in developing the new mental health and wellbeing service:
“Your Minds Matter is important because I feel the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people, from serving personnel and veterans of the Armed Forces, is something often overlooked and has only recently been acknowledged. Since joining the group, I have really enjoyed the mix of sessions which has broken up formality and structure to allow me to also build rapport with other Armed Forces young people. This is something I had not experienced before as, growing up as a daughter of a serviceman in the Navy, I didn’t receive any welfare or educational support until I found about the Royal Caledonian Education Trust.
“I think many might assume if you stay in the same place and don’t move around with your parents that everything is fine when, in fact, growing up I had no peers who could relate to the ups and downs of being part of a military family. This was compounded further as a young person with additional support needs. I would encourage any young person from a forces family to join us through the Your Mind Matters Project because it’s about taking our experiences and ideas forward to create a hub for young people to easily access support, as often the support services are aimed at parents, which means children and young people will be able to access age-appropriate support and engage with fellow peers whom we can also relate to.”
The Your Mind Matters Project is looking for further children and young people, from a serving personnel or veteran families, living in Scotland to come forward and contribute their experience, creativity and voice towards the development of our mental health and wellbeing service.