Here, See Change youth panel member Siobhan Brady blogs about attending a national event for all mental health organisation youth panels organised by our partners at Headstrong, the national centre for youth mental health.
Working together is vital when it comes to achieving a common goal and that is exactly what groups such as See Change do. Last Saturday a number of youth panels from different groups such as See Change and Headstrong came together to share ideas and work together to achieve the common goal of promoting awareness of mental health, issues facing young people and creating social change.
On Saturday the 25th of January a number of youth panels/youth advisory panels from different organizations came together in the O2 head offices in Dublin. The day began with introductions (and name tags!!) and presentations about the organisations, which were present, these organisations were:
- Belong to, an organization working to support young people in Ireland who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.
- Bodywhys, an organization supporting people in Ireland who have eating disorders this is done through online groups, personal support groups, email and a helpline.
- Dublin Comhairle na nóg, a local youth council which allows young people to voice their opinions in local services and policies. They recently launched a DVD called Dare To Talk focusing on mental health.
- Headstrong, and organisations that advocates at a national and local level for the right of young people to access better mental health supports, and a change in the way Ireland thinks about youth mental health.
- Reachout.ie, a website which is dedicated to talking the mystery out of mental health and provide mental health information and inspiring real life stories by young people with the aim of helping other young people get through tough times.
- See Change, is national programme working to change minds about mental health problems in Ireland.
- SpunOut.ie, a website which is created by young people for young people and promotes general wellbeing and healthy living to enable young people to live happy, healthy lives where they can build a bright future for themselves by availing of all opportunities presented to them.
- YES- Youth Empowerment Service, a programme which provides opportunities and training for communities and system transformation as well as direct support, groups and leadership opportunities for young people at risk of, in or emancipating out of the system services.
Linking our thinking provided a place for young people to come together and share ideas, work together and learn about other organizations. Each organization made a presentation, which focused on a campaign that they were involved with in 2013 which was a success. Gavin and I had the privilege of making a presentation on behalf of See Change and despite being slightly unprepared (me more so than Gavin) we managed to inform people about the green ribbon campaign which allowed further discussion to develop regarding working together to promote the green ribbon campaign.
Throughout the day meaningful discussion took place, allowing people to share ideas, talents, and new ways of working together. It is hard to sum up the day into one blog post because the discussions, which were held, are invaluable, they allowed for further networking and communication and provided motivation. The day lived up to its name, Linking our thinking because that was exactly what we did, we worked together to link our thinking, share our thoughts and ideas and work together to see what more we could do to promote positive social change and bring about positive social change.
See Change Youth Panel Member and creator of the Label Jars Not People initiative