Free resources in support of Youth Mental Health Day 2023
The Mental Health Foundation states that 50% of mental health problems are established by age 14 and 75% by age 24. The latest Good Childhood Report by The Children’s Society found that women aged 17 to 22 are the group most at risk of developing a mental health problem, and in the last three years, the likelihood of young people having a mental health problem has increased by 50%.
As we approach Youth Mental Health Day on 19 September, we’ve collated some activity ideas into a free young peoples’ mental health resource pack for you to download that can help young people develop resilience, protect their own wellbeing and take positive action in an increasingly turbulent world.
Each activity in our resource pack has been taken from ASDAN’s Personal Development Programmes (PDP), PSHE and Beliefs and Values Short Courses. They are best suited to learners aged 13 and over in mainstream settings, however they can be adapted to suit different ages and abilities.
Our young peoples’ mental health free resource pack includes 20 challenges across five topics, which include prompts and ideas for possible topics or projects:
1. Information and communication
Many young people have access to an abundance of information (and misinformation) online and on social media. Teaching them how to access reliable information and critically evaluate the validity of the information they are consuming is crucial, as well as teaching them how to report any information they see that is harmful or inaccurate.
2. Peace and conflict
These challenges from our Beliefs and Values Short Course are particularly relevant in helping young people to explore and understand the current conflicts happening around the world.
3. Emotions and wellbeing
Finding ways to manage your wellbeing is always important but can feel difficult when the world feels stressful. It is easy to fall into the habit of ‘doom-scrolling’ through the news or social media. Young people may need support to manage their screen time and balance their own wellbeing when staying informed. They may also need support to process their emotions and develop positive strategies to manage any worries or anxieties they may have.
4. Social action
The resource pack’s social action activities are centred on community, volunteering and fundraising. Finding a way to help others can help you to feel better too. It can give young people a sense of empowerment and help them to focus on the things within their control.
5. Cultural appreciation and creativity
These activities celebrate food, art and other aspects of culture. Creative activities help to promote personal wellbeing but can also deepen young people’s understanding of countries and cultures that are being talked about in world news. Expressive arts activities are a good way for young people to work through their emotions, especially for individuals who struggle to articulate their feelings.
Developing personal, social and work-related skills
The activities in this resource pack provide excellent opportunities to develop the six core ASDAN skills.
- Ability to learn: This skill will help young people to set personal goals for managing their wellbeing.
- Teamwork: This skill will help young people to work with other people and develop empathy.
- Problem solving: This skill will help young people to think creatively and develop resilience.
- IT skills: This skill will help young people to use technology in a way that supports their wellbeing.
- Literacy: This skill will help young people to find accurate information and communicate their emotions.
- Numeracy: This skill will help young people to manage money and cook healthy meals.
Our young peoples’ mental health free resource pack also includes a skills self-assessment that can be used at the start and a skills self-reflection that can be used at the end to measure progress.
There’s a personal reflection sheet at the end of the booklet for young people to look back at what knowledge and skills they’ve gained, and what they want to do in the future.
We hope our free youth mental health resource pack helps your young people feel supported, and perhaps even motivated to make change. Find out more about the full versions of ASDAN’s Personal Development Programmes, PSHE Short Course and Beliefs and Values Short Course.