London needs to recognise young people’s ‘State of Mind’

Today (Friday 17th February 2012) young people from across London will come together at City Hall to meet service providers across London at a mental health and wellbeing conference.

The event follows last year’s launch of the ‘State of Mind’ manifesto produced by young people involved with several mental health projects from across London including YoungMinds Very Important Kids (VIK) project, Right Here Newham and the Peer Outreach Team from the Greater London Authority’s Children and Young People’s Unit.

State of Mind was created because young people feel that their views and experiences are too often ignored when decisions are made about them and they want to play a part in shaping the services provided for them.

The conference is the next stage in ‘State of Mind’s’ attempt to make London’s decision makers understand the importance of young people’s mental health and wellbeing. Attending the summit led by young people will be Director’s of Children’s Services, Council Cabinet Members and mental health service providers from across London.

Speaking ahead of the ‘State of Mind’ conference YoungMinds VIK London Regional Support Worker Erin Wright said:
“With three children in every classroom having a diagnosable mental health condition and one in twelve young people self harming there has never been a more critical time for London to prioritise the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people.

“London is a great city to live in but it has some unique challenges for young people. Good mental health is vital for young people as they grow up in the capital.”

State of Mind is written by young people for all those in London who make decisions that affect their mental health and wellbeing. Too often they are ignored when London’s decision makers come to shape mental health services.

“This conference is a chance to bring together young people from across London and those that make decisions that affect young Londoners’ mental health.”

London is a great city but it has some unique challenges for young people living here:

  • The Mental Health Foundation’s ‘Be Mindful’ stress survey found that London is the most stressed city in The UK, with 54% of people feeling stressed daily or weekly
  • London has the lowest rate of employment in the UK which is thought to contribute to the high rate of mental health problems
  • The recent riots have shown us that there is a lot of dissatisfaction with living in London. London has areas of extreme wealth situated next to areas of extreme poverty, constantly reminding people of what they don’t have.
  • Over 330,000 children live in overcrowded accommodation placing severe pressure on their mental health and wellbeing

ENDS

Notes to editors:

  1. For further information and to arrange interviews please contact Chris Leaman on 020 7089 5066 or 07813 810114 email chris.leaman@youngminds.org.uk
  2. Interviews with a number of young people who helped write ‘State of Mind’ are available by contacting Chris Leaman 020 7089 5066 or 07813 810114 or chris.leaman@youngminds.org.uk
  3. YoungMinds is the UK’s leading children’s mental health charity committed to improving the mental health and emotional well-being of children and empowering their parents and carers. For further information go to www.youngminds.org.uk
  4. Right Here Newham works to the principle of "nothing about us, without us". The project works across Newham and aims to make sure BAME young people have a say in the support that is provided to help them look after their mental health. The youth panel at Right Here Newham make key decisions about all areas of the development and delivery of the project.
  5. The Peer Outreach Team are young people who work within the Children and Young People’s Unit at the GLA. They are advocates for Young Londoners and have a direct say in shaping local and London wide youth strategies and projects
  6. ‘State of Mind – Young Londoners’ Manifesto for Mental Health is available for download here http://www.youngminds.org.uk/assets/0000/1205/state-of-mind-manifesto.pdf

YoungMinds Parents helpline: 0808 802 5544

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020 7089 5066 or chris.leaman@youngminds.org.uk

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YoungMinds is the UK's leading charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people and empowering their parents and carers. The YoungMinds Newsroom offers information and resources for media professionals about YoungMinds, on CAMHS policy, statistics and research on issues relating to the emotional wellbeing of young people. We can provide you with facts about children and young people's mental health and wellbeing, expert spokespeople, young campaigners and policy briefings and statistics.