Who we are
We are a multi-agency alliance of professionals and young people across Bath & North East Somerset and beyond, including representatives from the Local Authority, Public Health, CAMHS, schools, voluntary agencies, parents & carers, fostering services, school nurses and many others. We are also working with arts organisations such as the Holburne Museum Education Department , who are part of our alliance and use arts-based programmes to reduce stigma, challenge stereotypes and engage boys and young men.
One of our principles is to have men leading the strategy as they are hugely under-represented in the field of mental health and wellbeing and we want our message to be that mental health and wellbeing are as important to men as they are to women.
Young people, mainly boys and young men but also girls and young women, are actively involved in all aspects of our work. They help us with applications for funding, support us at training events, make films, help us develop other resources, speak at conferences and drive our work by telling their stories, identifying good practice and suggesting different approaches. They have also helped develop the logo and the website and to plan the film launch.
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
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
Boys in Mind puts young people at the heart of our organisation with our Youth Advisors being at the forefront of our activities as well as helping to decide future strategies. Our team structure is detailed below.
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 Trust and state specifically Boys in Mind / Girls Mind Too so that the funds will be transferred to the Boys in Mind budget.