What we did:
Glasgow Life was one of six youth worker organisations from across Scotland who have adapted their service delivery and are supporting young people during COVID-19 specifically around Mental Health and Wellbeing. The Executive members of the Glasgow Youth Council were approached and agreed to participate in Youth Link Scotland’s (YLS) Mental Health and Wellbeing project. Permission was granted from the NHS Mental Health Improvement Team to use and adapt their existing Healthy Minds training resource for delivery online. Weekly sessions were delivered covering basic mental health awareness, emotional literacy, sleep and the development of a bespoke meditation session.
During the 10 week project youth workers took part in weekly progress meetings with YouthLink Scotland and participated in five practice development sessions led by YLS, See Me Scotland and Penumbra around Stigma and Discrimination, using the iRoc wellbeing resource and self-harm training.
Who we involved:
Glasgow Youth Council, Youth Link Scotland, See Me Scotland, Penumbra with permission from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s Mental Health Improvement Team to adapt their Healthy Minds mental health and well-being resource.
The difference it made:
As part of the project GL developed a range of support materials and links to a range of activities, apps, helplines and websites that can support young people’s mental health and wellbeing, particularly during the early stages of lockdown.
For young people the training reduced the stigma of mental health, enabled them to share their experiences and provided them with a range of tools and techniques that will support their mental health and wellbeing. Selected participant feedback:
“Enjoyed the quiz as it was a good and interactive way to learn about sleep”.
“Relevant content, enhanced by the fun facts and quiz keeps it engaging. It wasn’t a lecture”.
“I enjoyed the guided meditation, as it gave me a chance to work on relaxing fully during meditations, a skill I was already starting to work on by myself. I also thought the random acts of kindness was a nice idea”.
The sessions and associated resources, alone with contributions from the other five youth work organisations, have been compiled and into a free Wellbeing and Youth Work Resource entitled “Heids Together” that can be accessed by the wider youth work sector.
What we will do differently in the future:
Glasgow Life has been proactive in responding to the challenges faced by the youth work sector in ensuring that its services continue to adapt and develop as lock down restrictions are eased. In a relatively short period of time, Glasgow Life’s youth work programmes have transitioned from a physical to a virtual and online environment. The Glasgow Life Youth work staff have been resilient in their approach and will continue to modify their approaches to enable them to continue to provide the best support for young people mental health and wellbeing.