This year’s Good Childhood Report from The Children’s Society – a survey of over 2,000 10-17 year olds in England – has just been released. Read on for GB's response to it.
What are the key findings?
The report demonstrates the deteriorating state of children’s mental health in 3 areas:
Worryingly the report shows that girls are more likely to be unhappy with their life, have symptoms of depression and engage with self-harming behaviours.
What do you think are the main reasons for this?
From listening to our members at different events and from questions coming into Girls’ Brigade’s award-winning koko website, a vlog exploring the issues that girls are facing, it's evident that young people - particularly girls - do feel under pressure for a number of reasons:
The impact of GB
GB’s Advocacy Co-ordinator Dr Claire Rush shares ‘Instead of being paralysed by these negative statistics, they also present an opportunity to Christian faith communities to turn up the volume of Gospel hope among this generation of girls and young women.
‘Girls’ Brigade is helping girls flourish and be all that God created them to be. Through our innovative programme materials and our thousands of incredible, passionate leaders, girls are developing the confidence, resilience and leadership skills to make a difference in their communities. Girls have told us that as a result of belonging to GB, they feel more courageous, loved and accepted. Just check out the #iamgb film.’
Chloe Twist who participated in the 2018 Esther Generation Weekend shares ‘Girls’ Brigade has improved my mental well-being because it has given me a wonderful support network which surrounds me.’
How can we help a young person who is going through a period of self-harm?
Self-harm is when someone has the intention of hurting or wounding their body to cause a physical pain. It's often related to emotional pain, which is difficult to express. It's important to remember that self-harm itself is not the problem; self-harm is merely the symptom that indicates there is a problem. The NSPCC provides some great advice about self-harm for young people, parents and carers.
How can we continue to support girls to thrive and flourish?
There are a number of GB programme resources on the issue of mental health available for GB leaders to use - helping them turn up the volume of hope with the children and young people they work with. You can view a comprehensive list here.
Don’t forget to equip yourself too. As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, GB England & Wales launched a new Culture Check-Up vlog inspiring leaders to continue to engage with the issue of mental health. Watch it here.
Tune into TWR-UK at 8pm on Saturday 1 September to hear Claire unpack some of the key findings of the survey as well as how GB is turning up the volume of hope amongst girls in this area. See here for more details about how to listen.
On Wednesday, Girlguiding released its annual Girls’ Attitudes survey. The biggest survey of its kind in the UK, it asked the opinions of just under 2,000 girls and young women aged 7 to 21 (not just members of Girlguiding). As it gives us an insight about how girls feel about a range of issues, emerging pressures and what they need to support their happiness, wellbeing and opportunities in life, it’s important that we listen to their voices.
Leaders from 1st Yorkshire GB District recently enjoyed a retreat day in Bakewell, led by GBM’s Discipleship Co-ordinator Charlotte Hendy.
In January 2017 a group of members from the West London Gym team decided to form the West London Youth Network (WLYN) to enable the older members of GB and Boys’ Brigade (BB) to remain both involved and engaged despite moving on to university or work.Read more