A recent report by YMCA found that young people are most affected by lack of employment opportunities, failure to succeed in education system, body image, family problems, substance abuse, the pressures of materialism and of course the pressures of 24-hour social networking.
It provokes little wonder that they are struggling.
Resilient Young Mind is a grass-roots organisation with big ideas.
We are seeking support from our local and national community to take our resilience training for young people out to schools and educational institutions across the UK.
Young people inherit a challenging world. They are born into and must navigate a digital age, with both the benefits and the issues this brings.
Cyberbullying and stress from technological overload are concerns that are well documented. And that's not to mention the increasing pressure to succeed in the educational system.
Moreover, our young people will inherit the effects of climate change, and will be called upon to develop solutions to challenges that no other civilisation has had to face.
The heartbreak behind the smiles
While our young people may be smiling via their social media profiles, the statistics and research into how they really are tells a different, heartbreaking story.
Suicides amongst the under 18s are at an all-time high, and young people's counselling services (such as CAHMS) are over-subscribed, with long waiting lists. Some services have even closed their waiting lists, knowing that the backlog of enquiries will take years to clear.
Childline receives more calls relating to bullying and stress than at any time in its long history. And anorexia, bulimia and body dysmorphia continue to point to the need for deep, systemic changes to how we nurture young minds.
A double bind
What's more, due to budget restraints and funding sources drying up, many services have been cut or withdrawn entirely, meaning that schools no longer have access to outside agencies when it comes to supporting young people's emotional health. This means that our education professionals – who should be focusing their energy on teaching the curriculum – are instead having to act as social workers and mental health practitioners. They neither have the time nor the training to deliver these interventions. We need only speak to teachers and pastoral staff to learn how stressful and overwhelming the workload has become.
At a time when support is needed more than ever, it is disappearing.
We need to act
In our hearts and minds, we feel this has to change: those with the right knowledge, skills and experience need to step forward and intervene.
Our young people need guidance from adults who can help them foster a better way.
And we believe we have a solution...
Time and again, in our work as consultants, coaches and trainers, we have witnessed the transformative effects of a resilient mind. When faced with a challenge, resilient people see opportunity, they problem solve, they work in community and they come back stronger.
Our intention and passion is to help build resilience in our next generation – the employees, the leaders and the parents of tomorrow.
And what better time to do so when the mind is young, adaptable and open to new ideas?
Feedback from a young person on one of our workshops after being asked, 'what will you take away from the day?'
We are seeking £30,000 from our Crowdfunding campaign to develop our offering. With this:
- We will create a revolutionary online training platform that teachers and pupils alike can utilise in the classroom and in their own time;
- Young people spend the majority of their time online and so we will meet them where they are, rather than expect them to come to us!
- We will develop a safe, online portal where young people can access information, support and audios that will help them on their journey towards resilience;
- We will develop learning resources, such as pocketbooks, videos and interactive applications, as well as delivering real-time workshops and one-to-one coaching;
- We will support the teachers who tell us that they are struggling to meet the demands of 'business as usual' by teaching them the tools of resilience.
More wonderful, heart-warming feedback from young people on our workshops.
Trust is at the heart of everything we do
We understand that for anyone, of any age, to open up and share their thoughts and feelings, the creation of a safe and boundaried space is key. This is especially true of the younger generation, and this is why our portal has been expertly designed to engender trust every step of the way.
Integral to this is for the young person to know that when they log in, everything they share is confidential and will not be reported back to a parent or teacher (unless there is a risk of harm to self or another).
Once they will be invited to share how they are feeling at any given time, and the intuitive programme will ask appropriate questions that will lead the person to reveal more about what's going on for them. For example, feeling 'tired' may provoke the system to ask, 'why are you tired?' to which they may share that they are feeling stressed. At this point, the portal can make recommendations for support, such as solutions ot tips/techniques for immediate benefit. Alternatively, the young person can click to say if they would like to speak with a teacher/PSHE/School Nurse/Childline or other professional.
The portal itself has been designed utilising state-of-the-art Enterprise Level Security software, the same security used by the banking industry. Meaning that parents and teachers can be assured that any child using the portal – and any information it contains – is safe.
Together, we know we can make a difference and we hope that you will help with a donation that will make a difference to the lives of our future generation.
Thank you for your support.
From all of us at Resilient Young Mind