Heather is a member of our Your Mind Matters core working group, who has highlighted the importance of developing a mental health service to better understand the unique challenges faced by children and young people from serving, reservist and veteran families.
Forces Children Scotland has received generous funding from the Armed Forces Covenant Trust to work directly with children and young people, from serving, reservist and veteran families across Scotland, to co-produce new mental health and wellbeing services for peers and wider family.
Your Mind Matters is about putting unique experiences of 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 and present barriers to 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 Forces Children Scotland to co-produce bespoke digital as well as face-to-face one-to-one, small group and peer mental health and wellbeing support services.
Heather has shared her thoughts on the importance of highlighting the Your Mind Matter’s focus on mental health and wellbeing, as well as how her experiences, as part of the working group, has helped develop confidence and forge new connections with fellow young people from forces families:
“It’s important because it focuses on mental and emotional health. I have experienced positive and negative aspects with regard to my own mental health and have supported others whom I care about too. Which means, I am keen to bring my experiences, which I hope will support more young people from serving and veteran families.
“The experience has allowed me to connect with people I would not have necessarily met. I am really enjoying the mix of informal and formal meetings as it feels like we are getting through things we need to complete as well as get to know each other while doing things.
“I feel a range of emotions in terms of helping to develop the digital platform. I am excited there is going to be a platform for Armed Forces young people and hopeful that it will help them. I also feel very determined to get it right so that it is accessible to all.
“Already this experience has helped me to push myself outside my comfort zone and talk to other people, something which has helped me feel better understood, as I am with other people who have been through similar experiences. I would encourage more young people, from forces families, to get involved in Your Mind Matters.”
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.