What's happening at YMCA
The purpose of this research was to examine the harmful language and negative stereotypes faced by young people experiencing mental health difficulties.
For #IAMWHOLE 2017, YMCA undertook research into the harmful language and negative stereotypes faced by young people experiencing mental health difficulties.
Harmful language and negative stereotypes surrounding mental health difficulties infiltrate our everyday.
However, while often dismissed as ‘banter’ or ‘harmless’, speaking to young people reveals the very real impact that they are having on their lives.
As such, the experiences of young people all over the UK and Ireland reveal that they are scared to tell others about their mental health difficulties for fear of the reaction they will receive, whether that is abuse or dismissal.
The secrecy that ensues is delaying young people getting help, prolonging their symptoms, and in some cases, having a lasting impact on their lives.
Ending this secrecy and tackling the harmful language and negative stereotypes that surround mental health difficulties first requires them to be acknowledged.
Doing so requires individual recognition of the weight that our words carry, and the negative attachment that sits alongside them.
Tackling the negative language and harmful stereotypes that surround mental health difficulties is not an exercise in so-called ‘political correctness’, nor is it about merely appeasing those who are ‘overly sensitive’.
Instead, it is about creating a society in which it is no longer considered brave to speak out when experiencing mental health difficulties.
It is about creating a society in which mental health difficulties are normalised, but also respected, and young people with symptoms are given the help they need, when they need it.
In order for this to be realised, based on the views and experiences of those participating in this research, YMCA is calling for governments and decision makers across the UK and Ireland to:
- Require all young people to be educated on mental health awareness and understanding as part of the school curriculum
- Promote mental health peer-to-peer support programmes in schools and community settings
- Invest in youth and community services that provide informal education and positive activities around mental health
- Require all teachers and individuals frequently working with young people to be trained in recognising mental health and/or emotional wellbeing issues and know what to do about them
- Demand tougher action be taken to tackle bullying in schools and online
- Combat irresponsible reporting, and inaccurate portrayals, of mental health difficulties in the media, TV and films
The purpose of this research was to examine the harmful language and negative stereotypes faced by young people experiencing mental health difficulties. For #IAMWHOLE 2017, YMCA undertook research into the harmful language and negative stereotypes faced by young people experiencing mental health difficulties. Harmful language and negative stereotypes surrounding mental health difficulties infiltrate our everyday. […]
YMCA Scotland will be working in partnership with Dr Yvonne McEwen for an upcoming heritage project. The project is to focus on the work of the YMCA during The Great War. For more information on this in the mean time, please see our recent Facebook post featuring Yvonne’s article for Passchendaele 100, which was published […]
Only 43% of 18 to 24-year-olds voted in the last election, the lowest of any age group, despite having the most to gain and the most to lose. This needs to change if you want to see decision makers make you a priority through policies that will positively impact on your lives and prospects. The […]
With only four weeks to go until the UK votes for its next government, YMCA is calling on candidates across the political spectrum to “put youth first” with its election manifesto. Inspired by discussions with young people across England, Scotland and Wales, YMCA’s manifesto brings together more than 40 recommendations that it believes will improve […]
Since stepping foot in my local YMCA in Newcastle fifteen years ago, I’ve been lucky enough to have had experiences with the movement in four continents. From my first trip to India aged 17 for the 150th anniversary of the Paris Basis to more recently representing Y Care International at the World Council in Colorado, each […]
Research conducted by YMCA uncovers evidence of body image anxiety in 11 to 16 year olds The Be Real Campaign, of which YMCA is a founding partner, today launches the Body Confidence Campaign Toolkit for Schools (Tuesday 17 January 2017). Aimed at secondary schools and made up of essential guidance, materials and advice on teaching […]
It is with great sadness that I inform you of the sudden death of Peter Robertson. Peter was out playing walking football, which he loved, when he suffered a fatal heart attack. I know that you will all hold Peter’s wife Alison, sons Simon and Jonathan and wider family in your thoughts and prayers at […]
“Give us something nippy, miss” As the world remembers those who have died. YMCA Scotland also remembers those YMCA workers and volunteers who used their talents to comfort servicemen as they fought in the trenches and in times of death. Lena Ashwell was one of these determined and talented people. She wrote “The YMCA realised […]
On Saturday 22nd of October, YMCA Scotland hosted its Annual Business Meeting and Inaugural Awards Dinner. The Keynote speaker for both events was the World President of the YMCA, Mr Peter Posner OBE. At the ABM, YMCA Scotland launched its first ever digital Annual Report. The report offers an insight into the fantastic work […]
In your community, maybe even in your street, there are troubled young people with nobody in their lives to support them except paid professionals: their teachers, social workers, police and the courts. Shannon, whose story is below, is one of them. Children like 10 year-old Shannon get labeled ‘problem children’. But at YMCA we see the potential, not […]