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GB raises hope during Mental Health Awareness Week

14 May 2018

This week (14-20 May) is Mental Health Awareness Week (#MHAW). Girls’ Brigade is passionate about ensuring that every girl flourishes and has an opportunity to live life to the full.

What girls are telling us

The theme of this year’s MHAW is focussed on stress and how we’re coping with it. Earlier this year, a study found that young adults spend more than 6 hours a day "stressed out". A UK Youth poll of 1,000 18-25-year-olds found money, appearance and career worries, as well as fears about the future, mean a large chunk of their time is spent feeling anxious or under pressure.

Similarly The Prince’s Trust annual survey revealed that, in 2018, young people’s happiness has hit the lowest level in a decade with half of young people regularly being anxious.

At GB’s Esther Generation Weekend in February, our own GB members told us that issues like exams, our culture’s strive for perfectionism, social media connectivity, unrealistic airbrushed images, gender stereotypes and school pressures are impacting their mental well-being.

Alana from 1st Chapel-en-le-Frith explained why it’s important that we explore mental health at GB. She says ‘Poor mental health affects so many young people right across the world and it remains a taboo topic to talk about.’

How can we support girls to thrive and flourish?

If you're a GB leader, don’t underestimate the great job that you're already doing. Girls’ Brigade groups are safe environments for girls to explore faith and the issues that matter to them as well as being invested in by older women. Through GB, girls are experiencing the life to the full that Jesus spoke about in John Ch.10:10.

Chloe Twist who participated in the Esther Generation Weekend shares ‘Girls’ Brigade has improved my mental well-being because it has given me a wonderful support network which surrounds me.’

Be encouraged – you're making a difference.

Here’s 4 ways we can continue to turn up the volume of hope on mental health in our GB groups:

  • Use GB's programme resources - lots of the GB holistic programme booklets touch on topics surrounding mental health and help young people explore their emotions in fun and innovative ways. Find out exact titles here
  • Share koko’s resilient film - koko is an online place for teenage girls, and a great free resource for youth leaders. Featuring the stories of two young women, our award-nominated Resilient film helps to shatter the silence surrounding mental health
  • Get equipped – in March 2017 GB held a special Volumise equipping day on mental health. You can access four equipping short films (perfect for you to watch individually or with your local or district regional team) as well as a free programme resource. You can download them here
  • Take care of yourself – are you longing for some time to pause and refresh? Would you like to find space with God? Do you want to learn new strategies to help you be and not to do? Join us on Saturday 30 June – Sunday 1 July 2018 at Cliff College for a refreshing taster retreat for all GB England & Wales (GBEW) leaders. The weekend will follow GBEW’s summer conference and will explore the story of Mary and Martha and what we can learn from it today. Find out more here.

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