September 2021 News
BiM - Looking to the Future
At the end of September, the Boys in Mind/Girls Mind Too team got together for the first time since March 2020 for an in-person team meeting! It was a fantastic opportunity for all of us to reconnect in person after spending so much time apart, and was actually a time for some of us get together in person for the first time, having joined in lockdown and met through zoom.
During the meeting, we discussed what we were pleased to notice about Boys In Mind/Girls Mind Too’s work over the last few years, as well as how we all individually coped with the challenges of lockdown. It was also a wonderful opportunity to talk about our best hopes for the future of the organisation, and what would tell us that those hopes are being achieved.
In true Boys in Mind/Girls Mind Too fashion, we went out for a pizza afterwards to properly catch up with one another and finally enjoy a meal together after such a fractured year apart. Stay tuned to this page and our social media for more updates about what is to come!
Mindfulness at St. Stephen's
The children at St. Stephen’s School in Bath are all learning Mindfulness. It teaches children to focus on the present, and this can help them self-regulate, build self-awareness and self-esteem. They tell us how it makes them feel, how it helps them in their everyday life, and how it improves their learning. The school uses both the Jigsaw programme which offers schools creative lessons for personal development, and the ‘dots’ Mindfulness curriculum for 3 to 6-year-olds. We’ve made a film showing Mindfulness at work at St. Stephen’s and we also hear from the children themselves, to watch the film, click here.
Tragedies that almost were...
In this month’s blog, Youth Advisor Levi Exton discusses how, even with a positive outcome, we still need to understand and process the emotional toll on our mental health that life events with acute stress can have on us.
Drawing on personal experience, Levi talks about a time when he nearly lost his father. A stressful and anxious time for him and his family. Levi’s father went on to recover and is doing excellently, but for a time the outcome was far from certain and Levi’s intelligent and thoughtful blog discusses the need to process the confusing and painful emotions caused by these situations even if tragedy is averted. To read Levi’s full blog, click here
Our Latest "In Conversation..." Podcast
This month saw the release of a new episode of “In Conversation” the regular podcast series in which Levi, with a range of guests, have insightful discussions on various topics affecting mental health and how they can be approached. In this sixth episode, Levi is joined by Will to talk about being part of the LGBTQ+ community and some of the associated impacts on mental health.
Drawing from their own experiences, as well as issues facing the wider community, this episode offers insight to people less familiar with LGBTQ+ culture and advice to those on their own journey through it. Covering topics such as the uplifting effect of finding a community where it is comfortable to express one’s self; awareness of privilege, both inside and outside of LGBTQ+ groups; the negative impact of stigma and how the discussion of sexuality, especially amongst young people, can help mitigate it in the future. The podcast can be found here on our website or you can subscribe via your favourite podcatcher here .
A Big "Thank You" to Community Matters
We are delighted that Community Matters , the charity shop in Chelsea Road in Bath , has raised a massive £5,000 for Boys in Mind since May . Huge thanks to Michelle and her team . Please do visit the shop : they have a wide selection of goods (especially with Christmas coming !) If you’d like to volunteer they’re also looking for staff to join their team. The shop is open every day from 9.30 (except Sunday and Monday) so call in, alternatively, you can contact them t: 01225 789777 or find them on Facebook or Instagram.
Get involved with our LGBTQ+ film
Boys in Mind/Girls Mind Too are putting together a Youth Led film in partnership with Off The Record SPACE , talking about mental wellbeing and being part of the LGBTQ+ community. We are looking for LGBTQ+ Young People who would like to be involved and help out!
How can I be involved?
- You can be filmed answering some questions to be a part of the final project,
- You can help out behind the camera with the filming process,
- Or just come along to meet some more LGBTQ+ Young People and enjoy some food!
Want to be involved and have your say? Join us at Off The Record’s office: Open House Centre, Manvers St, Bath BA1 1JW on the 16th Oct from 11:00 to 14:00. Hope to see you there!
SF24/21- Building Hope, Empowering Change
Boys in Mind/Girls Mind Too at SF24/21 As mentioned in the last issue, BiM Youth Advisor Will went along to the SF24/21, a global Solution Focused conference, and presented a workshoptitled “Using SF in the dialogue surrounding men’s mental health, equalities and youth leadership”. The workshop was very well received by those who could make it, and people were really moved to hear about the important work that we are doing, as well ashow we use the Solution Focused Approach in everything that we do. You can check out a recording of this workshop here:
Welcome Jo Symmons
A big welcome to Jo Symmons who recently joined the BiM team. Jo will be running BiM social media and communications and takes over from Kit Cooper-Harrison who, after two years of brilliant work, decided to take up a new role with BANES council. We are very sorry to see Kit go, but look forward to seeing him at BiM events and working with him again in the future.
An advocate on a range of mental health issues, Jo brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to this role, having worked in marketing and PR roles as well as with young men in the social care system. She is also currently studying to be a counsellor. Jo will be adding new content and updates to our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts regularly so don’t forget to subscribe, like and follow to make sure you get notifications. To contact Jo about Boys in Mind you can reach her through any of our social media channels and also at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Youth Advisors
This month we also welcome Fedi and Evie, our latest additions to the Youth Advisor team. Currently 6th form students at Ralph Allen School in Bath, both Fedi and Evie have been working to introduce healthier attitudes towards mental health in their school.
They have organised several school assemblies that highlighted mental health issues and the need for more openness and discussion about mental health issues in schools, particularly for young men.
As well as this inspiring work and keeping up with their studies, they are now also in the process of making a film – which we’ll tell you more about in future news updates.
Some Project Soothe Update Feedback
Following the success of the first Project Soothe film with St. Mary’s RC Primary School in Bath, Kate was invited along with Andrew and Richard, who put the film and project together, to present the film and talk about it at the most recent (online) meeting of the Bath Photographic Society.
There was a really positive response to the film and members commented on the importance of film and soothing images in promoting positive mental health amongst young people. Andrew and Richard also stressed the benefits of including young people in the whole process and film making and the increase in confidence that the school had seen in the film team.
Director of Project Soothe Professor Stella Chan of Reading University was also able to attend and was able to endorse BiM’s film in glowing terms. There is another Project Soothe film in teh pipeline so watch this space. The film can be watched at web address here
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