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:
We've produced a small supplement featuring all the news from this summer's International Conference of Girls' Brigade (ICGB) in Zambia, as well as some highlights from the GB England & Wales' delegates and supporters.
Download our special Hope publication featuring some of the latest GB news and group stories.
On International Day of the Girl 2018, GB England & Wales has launched Vol. 3 of its Culture Check-Up vlog which aims to inspire leaders to engage with girl culture in innovative ways.