The You Matter Movement
Poor mental health in young people is on the rise, with studies showing clear links between a person’s social media practices and their mental wellbeing. Whilst schools talk about the impact of sharing personal information online, they do not address the impact social media has on a person’s self-esteem. Research has found that those who spent more time on social media show more symptoms of low self-esteem, loneliness, anxiety, and depression. We believe it is vital that we address this now before we see these concerns escalate further. We aim to provide a service that goes into the schools in our local area and teach young people how to make healthy choices on and offline. These services will include teaching young people how to develop a healthy self-image, positively navigate social media, understand their value and worth, and empowering them to dream bigger and recognize their potential.
How it will work
In our first year of delivery, we aim to be partnering with 4 schools within our local area of Chesterfield providing workshops and a mentoring scheme to students ages 11-16. We will work closely with the pastoral and teaching staff and will conduct regular surveys with both staff and students, to monitor our progress and to make certain our programme is achieving our intended outcomes. The money we raise would enable us to train our volunteers in MHFA and cover their expenses.
Here at YM we believe that technology and social media have created both obstacles and opportunities for young people growing up in today's society. As part of our 4 week workshop programme, we plan for young people to become more aware of the effects of their social media practices on their mental wellbeing. Students will learn how to create healthy boundaries, acknowledge unhealthy habits and behaviours, learn self-discipline, and make good choices when online. We will do this by promoting discussion, using digital and creative media, and by encouraging students to reflect on their current mindsets. We trust that if we teach young people how to use technology to their advantage, we will create a brighter and stronger future for individuals, families, and our community.
Alongside our workshops we will provide a mentoring scheme, this mentoring scheme will offer 1-1 sessions with students as part of our 12 week programme, all our mentors will be trained in safeguarding and MHFA. Our focus will be on helping vulnerable young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, those battling with low self-esteem, those struggling with isolation and loneliness, and those at risk of exclusion. The immediate outcomes we expect to see are the young people of our community displaying improved mental health, growth in confidence, and conducting healthy life choices. Our mentors are not trained counsellors and will not offer therapy. Their role is to provide a listening ear, to help young people feel heard and cared for and to offer advice and guidance if and when appropriate. We aim to see mentors and mentees build strong and empowering relationships that will encourage, support and motivate the individual to understand their true value and worth.
With the vast amount of uncertainties that Covid-19 has provided for young people, the lasting effects could likely be significant. A survey by mental health charity ‘Mind’ found that Just over two thirds (68%) of young people said that their mental health had got worse during lockdown. With lockdown causing both technology usage and mental health in young people to rise, we believe that now is the right time to launch The You Matter Movement. Through our projects, we aim to aid schools in tackling the challenges and obstacles young people are facing in this current season.
We will work with each individual school to ensure that safety measures are being met.