Residents across Tower Hamlets are being reminded about the importance of talking about mental health as part of a local campaign co-created by young people in Tower Hamlets and as part of World Mental Health Day on Monday 10 October.
Mark Your Mind is an innovative new campaign led by YoungMinds in partnership with NHS Tower Hamlets Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Tower Hamlets Council, and other local organisations to help young people and families across Tower Hamlets get better informed about mental health and encourages people across the borough to tackle mental health together.Mental health is something that can affect anyone. It is estimated that one in four adults, and one in 10 children will experience some kind of mental health difficulty during their lifetime including stress, depression, loneliness or anxiety. But it is important to know that there is support available when people need it.
Mark Your Mind, which launched over the summer, provides information and support to young people and their families, so they can feel empowered to look after their own mental health and the mental health of others. The campaign also aims to make people feel more comfortable getting help when they need it, in a way that’s convenient to them.
Part of the campaign is Mark Your Grime, a music project that aims to challenge the stigma around mental health through grime music. Under the mentorship of Ruff Sqwad members Slix and Prince Rapid, young people involved completed three tracks that lyrically explored mental health themes.
There has also been a film project in collaboration with Headliner and All Abilities and a photography workshops, My Mind, My Lens, which explored mental health and how we can improve our own wellbeing and that of the people around us.
With advice from young co-commissioners and editors The Mix Tower Hamlets website (http://www.themix.org.uk/local/tower-hamlets) has been developed to provide information on coping with stress, noticing signs of depression, guidance on self-care and information on finding support services in the borough.
Laurie Oliva, Youth Engagement Manager at YoungMinds said: “It’s vital to spread the message that we can all look after our minds, just like we can all look after our bodies.
“Feeling stressed when life is tough is normal, but there are things you can do to get through it. We believe this campaign will make a real difference in supporting people to talk openly about their mental health and will help to break down stigma across the borough.”
Sir Sam Everington, a local GP and chair of NHS Tower Hamlets CCG said: “Any one of us can be affected by mental illness at any time of our lives. It’s really important that people know they are not alone, and that there is support available if they need it.
“The Mark Your Mind campaign and World Mental Health Day are great opportunities to promote discussion around mental health and give young people and their families the information they need and let them know that there is support available.
“If you or someone you love is currently experiencing mental health issues, your GP can offer help and advice in the first instance and put you in touch with local services that can help you.”
Cllr Amy Whitelock-Gibbs, Lead Member for Health and Adult Services said: “As one in four people will experience a mental health problem at any one time, it’s in everyone’s best interest to raise awareness and support each other.
“This campaign is a great way for young people to start conversations and relate to each other through shared experience.”
The Mark Your Mind campaign is supported by Tower Hamlets CCG as part of the Tower Hamlets children and young people’s mental health Transformation Plan. The campaign has been developed in partnership with Young Minds, and with the ongoing involvement of young people through various local events and workshops at the Spotlight Centre, Docklands Outreach and Osmani Centre.
The Mark Your Mind short film and grime tracks are all available online: