Scotland’s Armed Forces Children’s Charity

Forces Children Scotland is working directly with children and young people from serving, reservist and veteran families to co-produce new mental health and wellbeing support services through a project, called Your Mind Matters.

The project has received funding from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust to co-produce face-to-face support and digital resources for peers and family members as well as to help civilian professionals better understand the lives they lead.

Face-to-face support services are currently delivered through a pilot project in the West of Scotland as part of Your Mind Matters, and Forces Children Scotland has established a working partnership agreement with Hermitage Academy.

The partnership has enabled the charity’s Wellbeing Worker, Brian Robertson, to deliver weekly one-to-one and peer support sessions within Hermitage Academy for pupils from a serving, reservist or veteran family backgrounds.

One-to-one sessions have delivered early intervention, immediate response and active monitoring to address challenges, as well provide strategies to improve or maintain wellbeing and signposting towards additional help.

The lunchtime drop-in sessions have proved successful in providing a safe forum for pupils to share their unique experiences with peers, concerning mental health and wellbeing, by taking part in discussions to both give and receive advice.

Forces Children Scotland’s Wellbeing Worker, Brian Robertson said:

“It is clear there are very specific needs for one-to-one and peer support to be delivered within Hermitage Academy, which we continue to develop and provide through the Your Mind Matters project.

“The school has approximately 240 pupils from serving, reservist and veteran family backgrounds, and early discussions with young people, staff and parents has made it clear how important the specific support delivered has proved within the school.”

The support Brian has provided within Hermitage Academy has made a huge impact to supporting pupils from serving, reservist and veteran backgrounds within the school.

An S6 pupil from Hermitage Academy said:

“I can say Brian has been great, who listens when you need someone to listen. I can’t wait for him to help other pupils and would definitely recommend pupils make appointments with him because he is very understanding, caring and, most importantly, trustworthy.

“Brian knows how to give the best advice to pupils and his methods are very effective in insuring we feel much better about ourselves; all your problems can be reassured with just a couple of sessions. Brian has my support all the way!”

Are you a young person from a serving, reservist or veteran family? Would you like to know more about our Your Mind Matters Project?

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