“People expect boys to just deal with it”
“It’s OK not to feel OK”
“The support is there and it’s unbiased and open”
“Most people expect boys to be tougher and stronger… but they’re not”
“You feel like this now but you won’t feel like this forever”
“I felt ashamed… and that’s the exact opposite of how I should have felt”
We strongly believe that
No one should feel ashamed of: –
- Talking about their feelings
- Asking for help when they’re feeling down or struggling
- Being honest
- Being themselves
However, despite much work to challenge the stigma around mental health, many boys and young men are still unwilling and unable to open up about their difficulties and get help. They suffer in silence and tragically some go on to take their lives.
Who we work with
Family & friends
Teachers & other professionals
Our aims and principles
We believe that by understanding and addressing the particular barriers boys and young men face and challenging unhelpful notions of what it means to be a man we can begin to improve male mental health and ultimately reduce male suicide rates.
We aim to reduce the stigma and isolation which often exists for boys and young men, enabling them to:
- Talk about problems when they arise and ask for support when they need it
- Know that other boys and young men share similar challenges and feelings
- Care about themselves and each other and be able to demonstrate this
- Show emotion and cry when they need to
- Explore and challenge unhelpful, inaccurate and misleading stereotypes about what it is to be a man
Girls Mind Too:
Why this work is important for girls and young women
We recognise that there are a growing number of girls and young women who are struggling with their mental health and our focus on boy’s mental health is not intended to dismiss this very troubling trend. However, boys have told us that accessing help and support can present particular challenges for them as a result of unhelpful gender stereotypes, hence our focus on boys and young men.
Girls and women of all ages tell us that this work is important for a number of reasons: –
- They have male family members and friends who struggle to express themselves when they have a problem or who don’t seek support
- They see the effects on male behaviour when feelings and emotions are bottled up
- They are concerned about the high male suicide rate
- They feel that the messages being given out are applicable to girls and young women as well as boys and young men
- They also feel that the films and other resources pave the way to more general conversations about gender-stereotyping and conditioning of girls as well as boys
A letter to my younger self
The first film young people made as part of Boys in Mind was “A letter to my younger self”.
The film was the work of a group of young men who understand just how difficult it can be to ask for help and support when you are struggling with poor mental health. The young film makers worked with Suited and Booted Studios and a wider group of participants to create a film which they hoped would encourage more boys and young men to open up about their mental health difficulties and reach out for support.
Young people's involvement
The idea for the film was conceived by the young people and they were also fully involved in the film making process, ably assisted by their mentors at Suited and Booted. It is a credit to these young people and to all who took part and shared their stories, including Jonny Benjamin MBE (www.jonnybenjamin.co.uk) and Neil Laybourn (www.tchevents.com/personnel/neil-laybourn) who continue to add their support to the work we are undertaking.
We are also very grateful to the Malik Bendjelloul Memorial Foundation and IntoFilm who provided funding and support for this film. Also to Suited and Booted for their advice and support throughout the process
Boys in Mind has used the film in schools and at conferences to raise awareness of the issues which are central to the aims of Boys in Mind / Girls Mind Too.
The Boys in Mind team
Here are some of the key people involved in Boys in Mind.
If you would like to support us in any way please get in touch via the following emails:
If you would like to support our work please donate to our partner organisation Charlie Waller Memorial Trust and state specifically Boys in Mind / Girls Mind Too so that the funds will be transferred to the Boys in Mind budget.