Who are we?
Hi, I’m Marc.
I’ve struggled with anxiety and panic attacks for almost five years, and it still shocks me how unwilling people are to talk about mental health. When Front Lounge asked me to come along to a residential weekend to discuss the impact of mental health on young people, I knew it would lead to something big...
The Foolish Optimism Working Group. I'm the one in the blue t-shirt.
At the residential weekend, I met a group of young people from around Scotland. We watched a short film called “Foolish Optimism”. You can see the trailer for the film above. The film documented the experiences of three members of the group - Zoe, Chris, and Andrew - as they worked their way through their own mental health issues.
Afterwards, we had an amazing conversation where we discovered that we all identified with the experiences in the film. We shared our own stories in an open discussion that was difficult and emotional at times, but ultimately really hopeful.
We felt a profound collective responsibility to continue this conversation with other young people so we could:
- Let them know that they are not alone
- Give them an opportunity to tell their own stories
- Guide them to extra support wherever needed
- Encourage them to think about how they can make a difference
What are we going to do?
We intend to do a tour of Scotland throughout the remainder of 2018, showing the film and discussing the issues raised with groups of young people around Scotland. We will take a small group to each location to lead workshops in local communities, and to listen to voices that are not usually heard.
We intend to create an online campaign to gather and share young people’s stories of dealing with mental health issues, and to signpost young people to local support services as required. We will also be designing a series of posters which will support the tour and tie into the online campaign.
Finally, we intend to produce a report of our experiences in the form of a book, which will serve as a permanent record of the project. This book will contain a collection of stories, research which will be conducted throughout the tour, and the methodology for the workshops.
We want to take the feeling of shared understanding that we had in that room and spread it as far and wide as we can. It was obvious from our discussions that many of us had held onto these stories for a long time - whether we had no-one to tell or didn’t think they were worth telling - and sharing was a very powerful experience.
Chika Inatimi, Project Leader of Front Lounge had the following to say: "I asked these folk to come together to be a capable, creative and invested group of young people defining how the tour would be conducted. They are from different backgrounds, with a range of interests, bound by the fact that they all have very personal accounts of mental health. They also really want to make their communities better places to live. They are incredible people and I am honoured to know them and proud that they are willing to share their stories with young people across Scotland. Foolish Optimism has received funding from the Year of Young People fund and from Life Changes Trust, however, the ideas that flowed from the residential weekend have exceeded our current resources and this talented group of young people decided to take matters into their own hands."
2018 is the Scottish government’s themed “Year of Young People”. We have three months left in the year and we’d like to use them to make a positive impact on the lives of young people in Scotland.
The public launch of the film, “Foolish Optimism”, will coincide with World Mental Health Day on Wednesday 10 October 2018. This date also marks the beginning of the Foolish Optimism Tour.
What are the funds for?
Reaching our funding goal will enable us to do the following:
- Run at least ten workshops in different regions of Scotland
- Cover additional travel, accommodation, and food for volunteers
- Enable a poster campaign of positive words and images in support of the tour
Website & PR
- Create a website where young people can read and share stories
- Collate signposting information for local and national support services
- Conduct a nationwide PR campaign (TV, Radio, Newspaper)
- Publish a report in book form as a permanent record of the project