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Community / Mental health workshops for all secondary pupils

The project will ‘help to provide our young people with the skills and resilience they need to take steps to recover from the pandemic’

Aimee Barclay, Mind Your Head youth project lead (centre) with SIC Youth development workers Stewart Hornal (left) and Liam Brannan (right) outside Aith Junior High School. Photo: SIC

WORKSHOPS for over 1,400 secondary school pupils will take place over the coming weeks aimed at supporting their mental health and wellbeing.

The fifty-minute ‘My Self Care Journey’ workshops will be delivered to all secondary schools and secondary departments by staff from Shetland Islands Council’s Youth and Employability Service, in a partnership between the local authority and mental health charity Mind Your Head.

The workshops aim to increase young people’s awareness of their own mental health and wellbeing and signpost options for further support.

In an April 2020 ‘Lockdown Lowdown’ survey of young people, supported by Young Scot, YouthLink Scotland and the Scottish Youth Parliament, 39 per cent of young people stated that they felt ‘moderately or extremely concerned about their own mental wellbeing’.

When asked about the mental wellbeing of others, 46 per cent stated that they felt ‘moderately or extremely concerned’.

The ‘My Self Care journey’ workshop project is funded by the Youth Work Education Recovery Fund, administered by YouthLink Scotland, with funding awards made across Scotland to help organisations working with young people who have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mind Your Head CEO Anouska Civico said: “We are excited to be working with the Council’s Youth & Employability Service to reach and engage with so many young people across Shetland.

“The workshops help them gain some tools to manage their own mental health, create their own self-care plans and remind them to take the time to do things that make them feel good.  So far, young people have engaged really well and schools have been very keen to be involved.”

Shetland Islands Council’s education and families committee chairman George Smith added that “while many of us have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, we know that young people have also lost so much social contact with their peers, on top of the disruption to their learning, which will undoubtedly lead to anxieties”.

“These workshops will help to provide our young people with the skills and resilience they need to take steps to recover from this pandemic,” he said.