In our latest film ‘Finding Help’, Harvey, Reuben, and Patrick, students at St Laurence School in Bradford on Avon, talk about some of the issues and challenges facing young people. They discuss the importance and benefits of talking and asking for help and they give a clear message here to us all that mental health affects everyone and there is always someone who can help. Thanks also to Alfie who helped with the filming and to Aaron for his music. Click here to watch ‘Finding Help’.
In October’s news, Primary Champion Finn challenged us all to listen to a feel-good song each day to help boost our mood. We’ve had a lot of fun compiling this list with each member of the Boys in Mind team contributing a song to create a Spotify playlist of our favourite happy songs! It’s an eclectic mix of fun and funk that that is a perfect tonic to help soothe the blues and is bound to get your toes tapping!
You can see and listen to our full playlist of upbeat and happy songs by clicking here. Enjoy – and let us know what songs you’d add to our Happy Playlist!
Trans Awareness Week
It was Trans Awareness Week from the 13th to 19th of November when people and organisations from around the country came together to help raise visibility of transgender people and address the issues faced by the trans community.
The team at our partner organisation, Gendered Intelligence, made some powerful short films about their visions for the future for trans people and advice on how we can all help. Here’s one by co-founder Dr, Jay Stewart (Click Here) and you can find plenty more in the videos section of their Facebook page.
If you think that your or your organisation could benefit from a Trans Awareness boost, you can find lots of useful resources on the GI website.
Update: NI Project
Members of The Northern Ireland Project Team had a really useful and positive meeting with Siobhán O’Neill, Northern Ireland Mental Health Champion, last week. Will, Carrington, Kate, James, and Susie gave a presentation about Boys in Mind, the Whole School Approach, and the impact of this approach at Beechen Cliff School. Carrington then spoke about our Northern Ireland Project and us linking up with schools there to replicate this approach. Siobhán has put us in touch with the Education lead, Angela Kane, and we are writing to her to offer support and advice on her implementation of a framework for Mental Health and Wellbeing in schools. We will also invite her and schools in Northern Ireland to our next webinar, which will focus on a whole school approach in primary schools.
In November, our Youth Advisors linked up with the Wiser Academy to discuss our work and promote positive mental health among students. The Wiser Academy is a graduate recruitment network that works across the UK and Ireland.
Two of our Youth Advisors, Lucia and Will, were invited to speak at a Wiser Academy webinar that focussed on mental wellbeing at university where they discussed the importance of being open and talking about mental health. Lucia, Will, and all the speakers who took part were inspiring and we are thrilled to have had the opportunity to share our work with others. You can watch the full webinar here.
In a further collaboration, our Youth Advisor Gabriel Barnes took control of the Wiser Academy Instagram account for a day and promoted our vision by sharing some of our films and advice from our team of Youth Advisors on what helps them when they are feeling low. A huge thanks to Gabe who was the driving force in forging this connection with Wiser!
As we face the likelihood that some form of lockdown is here to stay for a while yet, our Youth Advisor, Levi, has written a blog that is packed full of great ideas to help you cope with lockdown loneliness and frustration. In it, they discuss how to avoid ‘toxic positivity’, the importance of allowing yourself to listen and be heard, and the joy of pickling. They have lots of fun suggestions for keeping physically, mentally, and creatively active. You can read the full blog here.
Andrew, our film lead, is our second blogger this month and he talks about the process involved in our film projects, involving children and young people at all stages. He also discusses the power and impact of speaking, being heard, expressing vulnerability and forging connections with others – all part of the healing process. Our films have been viewed thousands of times locally, regionally, nationally and internationally – two of them gaining international acclaim at the Los Angeles and Toronto Short Film Festivals. We have had tremendous feedback about their honesty, authenticity, simplicity and about how engaging and moving they are. Click here to read Andrew’s blog.
I joined the team in July 2020, however since then my involvement has felt significant. I already feel so welcomed by the team and involved and I cannot wait to work with everyone on future plans.
So what have I been up to involving the BLM movement? I was a panellist for the BLM webinar for Bath and North East Somerset where I discussed changes that could be made in our society starting within educational institutions. I also wrote a blog called “Why can’t I be like the other pretty girls?” which explored some of my own personal issues with race. I took part in a local online mental health workshop to discuss ways of combating racism and ways to support ethnic minorities who face discrimination on a regular basis. I also was given the incredible opportunity to do teacher training at Ralph Allen School in Bath, discussing with the teachers ways to promote inclusivity and diversity and suggested things such as bringing in role models for students and setting up equalities teams within schools and this is just the beginning. Kate, Eli and I are now working towards our second BLM film exploring good practice in schools in Bath and North East Somerset regarding anti-racist work and celebrating cultural diversity. I am very grateful to be a member of the team and cannot wait for what future projects will bring. Lucia 🙂
Introducing New Team Member Sarah Ashworth
I’m the Director of Schools and Families Programmes at the Charlie Waller Trust and I also have a small private practice as a therapist and supervisor in addition to teaching accredited counselling and mental health modules for the University of Oxford and the University of Warwick.
I’ve worked in a wide range of settings over the past 20 plus years, including youth work in schools and as a counsellor for children and young people in the charity sector. Prior to joining the Charlie Waller Trust, I was Mental Health Co-ordinator and Head of Mental Health at the University of Warwick, where I developed and delivered mental health awareness training for staff and students and led an experienced team of mental health professionals who supported students experiencing severe and enduring mental health issues.
In my spare time (of which there is not much)! I listen to a wide range of music, go for walks in the woods, sit with my cat watching whatever is most interesting on the telly, and practise mindfulness – particularly at times when life feels a bit stressful.
Last month, we reported that our film Being Black was shortlisted at the LGBT Los Angeles Film Festival. The film received rave reviews from festival goers who provided some inspiring feedback which you can watch here.
Andrew, our lead filmmaker who directed Being Black, was interviewed as part of the festival. In the interview, he spoke about his motivation and inspiration for making the film, detailed his production process, and shared his top track for dancing madly around the living room! You can read the full interview here.
Q&A Jamie's Farm
For this month’s Role Models Q&A we spoke to Jamie Feilden, the co-founder of Jamie’s Farm, a charity which started just outside Bath and now has five sites across the country where they combine farming, family, and therapy into residential trips for disadvantaged children and young people. He told us how his experience of teaching in a challenging school combined with his lifelong passion for farming to inspire the development of the Jamie’s Farm approach where children are given the opportunity to reconnect with nature and food production, boost their self esteem through community work, and learn what happens to ‘cow puppies’. You can read his fascinating story here.
Jackson and Finn's New Challenge
We both enjoy doing Lego and find that it helps us when we need to relax or calm down. This month spend 15 minutes per day on a creative task you enjoy. This could be art, knitting, crochet, Lego, anything goes. We would love to see some pictures of your creations. Have fun! Finn and Jackson – BiM Primary Champions.
Follow us on
Our social media empire expanded this month when Boys in Mind/Girls Mind Too joined LinkedIn. To visit our LinkedIn page click here, and don’t for get to click the like and follow buttons. It really does make a difference.
In addition to our website, we now have accounts with Facebook and Twitter as well a LinkedIn and you can find links to our various social media accounts throughout all of our channels with new content added daily.