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Combining forces for Mental Health Awareness Week.

Gary Seath 6 days ago

Media Mental Health

Forces Children Scotland and Helensburgh and Lomond Carers combined forces for Mental Health Awareness Week.

The charities brought local primary and secondary school-aged children and young people from military and non-military families together to participate in activities to promote positive mental health and wellbeing.

The event recognised additional mental health and wellbeing challenges young people can face, compared to their peers, due to caring responsibilities and life in an armed forces family.

A young carer can be anyone, aged 25 and under, who cares for a friend or family member who, due to illness, disability, a mental health problem, or an addiction, cannot cope without their support.

Young carers can support loved ones or members of the local community with practical tasks, physical and personal care, managing family budgets, prescriptions, and so much more.

Over 80% of children and young people who have engaged with Forces Children Scotland have said they have faced mental health and wellbeing challenges due to the lives they lead.

Research from the Carers Trust reports that caring roles are a risk factor for young people’s mental health, with one survey showing 38% of young carers experience mental health problems.

Attendees designed bold and colourful posters of something that made them happy. A button activity was delivered for attendees to reflect on their social support circles and who they turn to when in need.

Helpful advice and information was provided to help attendees to understand and adopt strategies for positive mental health and wellbeing, including five-finger breathing techniques and journalling.

Forces Children Scotland Wellbeing Worker, Gillian Gray, said:

“We are committed to building partnerships in the local community and it’s fantastic to have received lots of positive feedback from the young carers who participated in the activities.

“These sessions have served to open up a conversation about mental health and wellbeing, it’s provided an introduction to tools and resources available as well as encouraged children and young people to seek support if needed.”

 

Jan Conaghan, Young Carer Support Worker at Helensburgh and Lomond Carers, said:

“Working in partnership with other organisations expands the support available to Young Carers locally.  Living in a community with many Forces Families, enables us to receive support from organisations such as Forces Children Scotland.

“Gillian delivered wellbeing sessions to our Youth Groups as part of Mental Health Awareness Week. These sessions highlighted the importance of speaking openly about mental health and were provided with some tools and resources to help promote positive mental health.”

Editors Notes

For more information please contact Gary Seath, Marketing, Communications, and Development Manager (gary.seath@forceschildrenscotland.org.uk

Images available upon request.

 

About Forces Children Scotland

We support over 13,000 children and young people from armed forces communities across Scotland to realise their potential and thrive.

This is achieved through the delivery of mental health & wellbeing, youth participation, family support, education & learning and policy services to meet their unique support needs.

Moreover, we assist educators, professionals, and decision-makers to enhance their understanding and practice to meet the unique support needs of this community.

We put the lived experience of children and young people from this community at the heart of everything we do, who work directly with our team to co-produce our projects, services, and campaigns to ensure we collaborate as a collective force for good to achieve our vision of making Scotland a place where all children & young people from armed forces communities can realise their potential and thrive.