PROJECT: HI-M8 (HI MATE)
AWARDED BY: INSPIRE MENTAL HEALTH, BBC CHILDREN IN NEED
The HI-M8 project’s goal was to increase public awareness of youth mental health. The initiative illustrated the idea that nobody is happy “all the time” and that young people are also susceptible to mental health issues. Thus, it’s “OKAY NOT TO BE OKAY.” The youth’s goal was to launch a campaign to increase public awareness of youth mental health.
A SYNOPSIS OF THE WORK
BBC Children in Need and Inspire Wellbeing worked together on the Hi-mate project. The youth participated in multiple workshops on mental wellness as part of this project. Some of these sessions took place at the DYNI Hub, while others—which included one in Newcastle when the youth were on a three-day residential—were hosted somewhere else, where an Inspire Wellbeing facilitator visited the young people during their three-day residential program to conduct an in-depth, completely interactive session. The youths and young people talked about their mental health and wellness during these sessions. They talked about how they can’t talk to their families about how their mental health is doing, especially since some parents don’t think that teenagers should be worrying about such things. According to their perspectives, they also brought up the stigma attached to poor mental health and how it prevents people from talking about what’s going on in their hearts and minds. Additional ideas for this research included coping strategies for times when people were not feeling well.
In addition to encouraging mental wellness, they hosted seminars on “Young People and Their Mental Health” and “Provoking Thoughts” with facilitators from Action Mental Health. These sessions were intended to force students to consider scenarios that might result in their current state of being, which depresses them. Additionally, it was intended to help them consider strategies for achieving mental wellness goals, such as coping methods, who to talk to, potential triggers for negative mental health, and other mental health-related issues.
A TRIP TO DERRY
The young people also flew to Derry to collaborate with numerous other young people from various youth organizations on a street art project centered around various artworks related to the themes that the youth groups are working on. That day, the entire party traveled around Derry to study street art and the murals there. These provided them with ideas for potential projects. Diverse Youth NI artists focus their artwork on youth mental health and wellness.
IMPACT OF THE PROJECT
The impact of the Hi-M8 project has been tremendous. Among them are:
- Creativity in Action: To promote Hi-M8, the young people were able to design various items, such as wristbands and pin-ups. We wear so many of the lovely items they designed. Operating with Cohesion and Unity: They collaborated well and knew exactly who was responsible for what. They made the most of their time and completed the assigned duties.
- Increasing Awareness: The youth brought attention to the fact that negative mental health is not just a problem for the elderly; young people can also experience it.
- Confident to talk about issues that affect them: The youths were able to talk about things that have been upsetting them in the many sessions they have and the movies they make. They listened intently, exchanged ideas, and improved as a result. Some of them said that because of the stigma attached to mental health, they felt more comfortable talking about certain topics than they had in the past.
- Lobby for change: Through this project, young people were exposed to activism and made an effort to meet with the appropriate individuals to ensure that their needs and mental health were taken into account. They presented their cases and their desired future developments regarding youth mental health to legislators during their meetings. They requested the legislators’ support, and if the parliament reconvenes, their presentation will be discussed. When they visited with lawmakers, every one of them backed their campaigns and pledged to bring up the issues they had brought up when parliament reconvened.
- Active participation: Every young person gave the project their full participation and contribution. They were able to express what they needed to be included for the project to succeed.
- A new discovery: They said it was a comforting realization that nobody is ever truly “in the green zone” and that “IT IS OKAY NOT TO BE OKAY.” With this knowledge comes a liberated sense that, even if someone’s mental health may temporarily deteriorate, one may transition from the “RED ZONE” to better areas by connecting with the appropriate individuals.