#Sayyestodestress – Our Social Action Project!
For our social action project we decided that we wanted to raise awareness for mental health, specifically in young people. In doing this we teamed up with a charity called Off the Record who provides free and confidential mental health support and information to young people aged 11-25 in Bristol.
Over the week of phase 3 we did lots of research into different charities that help with mental health around Bristol. We made 750 small information cards, with different facts and some general information about stress and mental health. Then we started the task of hand-making 425 bracelets to distribute; most of the bracelets had a different bead showing that each person struggles with their mental health in a different way.
Not only did we want to raise awareness for young people’s mental health but we also wanted to fundraise for Off the Record to help them in caring for the young people they work with. We baked cakes and contacted retailers such as Sainsbury’s and Tesco’s alongside other small local businesses to see if they could donate some cakes towards the bake sale. We had lots of cakes to sell and through the generous donations of the public we raised a mighty £400 which every penny has gone to help provide counselling and other therapies to young people in Bristol.
To wrap up our week of preparation we spent several hours roaming the streets of Broadmead giving out bracelets and information leaflets to the general public, we were also raising awareness for Off the Record, spreading awareness of what they do and where people can access help if they need it. In addition to this we had a sandwich board reading “1 in 5 young people struggle with their mental health”; saying we had drawn attention to ourselves would have been an understatement! It was a successful day; we gave out all of our handouts and had some great and interesting conversations with people. We worked as a team and approached young adults to spread the awareness, throughout the day we saw lots of people wearing their bracelets proudly; we felt a real sense of achievement.
I enjoyed doing our social action project as mental health has always been an interesting and engaging topic for me, I found out more information on it and more ways in supporting people who struggle with theirs. I enjoyed walking around Broadmead with the sign on my back; strangely it gave me confidence and I felt proud to be working with an amazing charity raising awareness for a potentially serious and underestimated health issue. The main thing I learnt is that everyone has a mental health, some good and some not so good but everyone needs to look after it just like we look after our bodies otherwise you can get really ill. There are lots of simple steps you can do to prevent your mental health from becoming bad; it’s just finding the time to do it and our social action project helped me remember this.
~ Anya James, 2017.