A FILM made by volunteers at Worcester’s YMCA will help raise awareness of mental health issues among young people across Worcestershire.
Young Health Champions (YHC) at the Henwick Road hostel, who work with their peer groups to educate them informally in health issues, have made the documentary in a bid to tackle the myths surrounding mental health and discrimination.
The film, which features contributions from local young people including the Lost Minds group and YMCA residents, will be used by the YHCs in sessions and workshops at schools, colleges, hostels and youth groups.
Heidi Griffiths, aged 24, who works as a teaching assistant but has been volunteering as a YHC since March, said: “I had the idea to make a film because I felt it would be a great tool to get young people listening and engaged in mental health awareness and break down stigma. It’s been a really good success so far.
“We’ve had mental health sessions where young people just drop in and they really enjoyed the film.”
YHC and contributor Mark Wilks, 24, said he hoped the film would also help young people who might feel trapped by mental health issues. He said: “That’s exactly what I went through. It’s a hard situation to be in.
“I’ve done the film to try and help anybody who might be going through THE same to express themselves and get help. There’s always someone there to listen.”
Project co-ordinator Leanne Dance, said the YHC scheme, which is in its first year, had been successful.
She said: “The film is a great way to engage people who don’t know anything about mental health issues or are strugging with them and need to get help.
“The YHCs have worked so hard and dedicated a lot of their free time to the project.
“There were 15 contributors, which goes to show what a big issue mental health is. They were from all walks of life and It was a really interesting piece of work.”
A special screening of the film took place at the Henwick Road hostel on Tuesday.