Today (Tuesday 10 October) is World Mental Health Day (#MHAD17). Girls’ Brigade Ministries is passionate about ensuring that every girl flourishes and has an opportunity to live life to the full.
What girls are telling us
Last month, new government research among 10,000 young people revealed that 1 in 4 14 year old girls are experiencing depressive symptoms including feelings of worthlessness, loneliness and feeling unloved. Unsurprisingly, these feelings were reported from a higher proportion of girls than boys suggesting that when girls reach puberty, they experience a gender-specific vulnerability. Read more here. GB recently appeared on around 10 local BBC radio stations providing a faith-based response to this research.
Our own GB members are telling us that issues like our culture’s strive for perfectionism, social media connectivity, unrealistic airbrushed images, gender stereotypes, and school pressures are impacting their mental well-being.
How can we support girls to thrive and flourish?
GB leaders shouldn’t underestimate the great job that they'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.
Katie, one of our GB leaders, says ‘Girls' Brigade is the perfect foundation to raise the volume of hope for young girls in terms of how we approach mental health and well-being. GB helped me during one of the darkest periods of my life. GB can be so transformative; I know many leaders are supporting young people simply by asking about their day and being a source of support.’
Here’s four ways we can continue to turn up the volume of hope on mental health in GB groups:
Two GB groups held Macmillan Coffee Evenings in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.Read more
GB Leader Julie Kemp, at 1st Bedworth, has knitted Gabby and Barney mascots for their 4 to 8s.Read more