On the 3rd of November, Young Healthwatch Westminster (YHWW) brought together Westminster Youth Council and Kensington & Chelsea Youth Council for the first – of hopefully many – future bi-borough meetings. In attendance, with the Youth Council members was the Westminster lead, Shofa, as well as, Reginald and Hasheam who lead the RBKC Youth Council. Our wonderful chair and the chair of the Westminster Youth Council, Civan led the Mental Health session on behalf of YHWW with co-volunteer, Aaniya.
To start with, the members were asked where young people would go to for mental health support and the answers were quite varied. Some platforms considered were Kooth, Place 2 Be, The Mix, as well as, CAMHS, talking to teachers, friends and family. In the discussion, it was also mentioned that going to your GP is a great way to get mental health support.
To get young people thinking about mental health in a different way, Civan led the first part of the activity, in which he asked his peers to draw a fictional character. The young people had to create a persona for this person, and decide their characters’ name, age, gender, likes and dislikes in 10 minutes – the drawings were great!
Aaniya then led the second part of the activity asking the members of the council to think about what their young person is going through, how they have been positively and/or negatively by Lockdown and if they were a friend of this person how they would support them. This was a great way that the young people could project their feelings on to a fictional character without the fear of being judged and, hear what other people have been experiencing.
Here is what some of the members had to say about the activity:
‘I found it interesting to see what everyone else thought of and I think I enjoyed it because it made me feel less alone even though these were not reflected on us it just helped to talk about it and reflect. I also think it made us think that everyone is going through something and lockdown has been hard on all of us and we should be kind to everyone not knowing what they are going through.’
‘I really enjoyed creating Bob’
An essential piece of our research at YHWW, is understanding young people’s thoughts on ‘mental health’ and the services that are in place. We would appreciate it if you could share your thoughts and views with us, to help us gather crucial information through this anonymous survey: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/VLVM5R3
If you are aged between 11 – 25 and live, work or study in or around the borough of Westminster, you can apply to join YHWW by emailing Alex on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 020 8968 7049 and ask for an application form.