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What is Youthink?

YouThink is a mental health project with a difference. Developed and delivered by young people for young people, this peer-mentoring programme has set itself the challenge of raising awareness about the importance of mental health and emotional well-being across Wirral schools. With a strong emphasis on tackling misunderstanding and stigma, the project hopes to make it easy for young people to talk openly about the way they think and feel; helping the feel more confident in getting help should they need it.

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To creatively generate the content for this page, the young volunteers worked together to produce a series of large-scale artworks. Each of the interlocking images they created is a unique visual metaphor, describing what they saw as the important features of their project.

What follows is a selection of the images and the meanings they hold. Alternatively, use the download button to read a more detailed summary.

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Putting things straight – tackling stigma

‘Like falling dominoes’, misinformation and harmful stereotypes about mental health have a way of being passed from one person to another. This has been happening for years, with each generation having a knock on effect on the opinions of the next. With so many leaning towards seeing mental health as a negative or embarrassing issue, the time has come to start putting things straight.

YouThink is about helping young people in our schools get the facts about mental health and well-being, seeing it for how important it really is.



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The bigger picture – school focused

Growing up can be hard, bringing with it all kinds of potential pressures and stresses. The ‘magnifying glass’ is about how it can be easy as teenagers to become fixated on what we think are our own failings, seeing ourselves in isolation to those around us. By working in schools, with whole classes at a time, YouThink aims to shift this limiting focus, helping groups acknowledge shared experiences, helping them step back to take in the bigger picture and see they are not alone.



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School ties – peer to peer

YouThink is about making information as accessible as possible and so is delivered by young people for young people. YouThink also recognises that every school is different, with its own way of doing things, its own systems and expectations. This is why the YouThink mentors are older pupil volunteering in their own school. These strong school ‘ties’ make it easier to communicate shared experiences and allow the mentors to lend a supportive hand that draws on the school’s existing support networks.



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Trained learners – qualified specialist

The ‘certificate firmly planted in the brain’ illustrates how the Mental Health First Aid training, which the YouThink mentors have received from CWP, is at the centre of how they operate. Though they have received specialist input from Wirral CAMHS, the YouThink mentors added the ‘incomplete download bar’ to represent the fact that they do not see themselves as experts. Instead they emphasise that they still have a lot to learn. For the YouThink team, this gap in their knowledge is part of their strength, encouraging them to learn from and with the groups that they support.



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Just for you – one-to-one support

As well as group work, the YouThink mentors also offer one-to-one support for those who would like it. The ‘gift of a loud haler’ is about giving those pupils a voice and making the things that are most important to them the things that will be listened to. Deliberately ‘unwrapped’, the image also embodies the idea that there is no pressure to ‘open up’ about a specific concern, the mentors will always be on hand to listen.


For young people, families and organisations wanting to keep posted on the developments of the YouThink volunteers, you can follow their:

Blog

Twitter updates via the #StandUpCWP @MyMindFeed

Or alternatively contact us, to find out more or get involved.

 

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