10 October 2016

Hi! My name is Claire. I have been a volunteer at the YMCA Worcestershire for a year now and have been working with the staff at the YMCA to organise the #IAMWHOLE campaign for World Mental Health Day. I am very passionate about working with young people which is why I am studying Youth and Community Work at university and the YMCA is a great place to put this into practice. Mental health is one of my main areas of interest so being able to work with the YMCA on this campaign is a great experience and opportunity. This campaign is essential to start ending the stigma against mental health that people experience during their day to day lives. So, it would be great if you, your friends and family could get involved! All you need to do is draw a circle on your hand and take a picture (like my picture below) and then share it on social media using the #IAMWHOLE on Monday the 10th of October 2016.

I have previously done other work related to supporting young people’s mental health with the YMCA Worcestershire as I volunteered with the Mental Health Champions project. When involved in this project volunteers and I went to schools, youth clubs and other areas to speak to young people about mental health. We worked with the young people to spread knowledge and awareness about mental health. So it has been great to be involved in the I AM WHOLE campaign in order to keep spreading awareness and knowledge about mental health to not only young people but to the whole community. To me, everyone in the community should be more aware about mental health as it effects so many people…

1 in 4 people in the UK are affected by mental health conditions and your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Therefore I think it is so important for there to be support and services available for everyone. However, as the I AM WHOLE campaign identifies there is still a large amount of stigma attached to mental health. In some cases the stigma people face can cause a more significant effect on the individual than the mental health condition itself. This stigma and discrimination may prevent people getting the support that they need which is why it is so important to work together to end the stigma against mental health.

So please get involved with World Mental Health Day on Monday the 10th of October 2016 and lets spread mental health awareness together!