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PRESS RELEASE: Dorset Mind Launch New Wellbeing Groups

PRESS RELEASE: Dorset Mind launch new wellbeing groups

Dorset Mind launch new wellbeing support for young people affected by the pandemic

Dorset Mind charity’s Children and Young People’s division, Dorset Mind Your head (DMYH) has collaborated with local animation company, Little Blue Hut, to showcase the importance of support groups through visual storytelling.

This campaign, and their new activity-led Wellbeing Groups are launching in response to the rapid increase in demand for mental health support due to the knock-on effects from the pandemic. In 2020, NHS Digital found that 1 in 6 children identified themselves as having a probable mental health disorder, with around 40% of all children and young people reporting that the pandemic had made their mental health worse.

DMYH knows how vital it is that support is made available for young people from an early age. It’s essential they have safe and supportive spaces to talk through and understand their feelings and experiences. Wellbeing groups provide a key early intervention, improving the mood of 96% young people who have attended the charity’s support.

Creating an animation to ease fears over group support

Not knowing what to expect from groups, or not liking the thought of sharing with others can be a barrier to young people accessing support offered in this format. The new video aims to demystify this. It explores the anxieties of talking about thoughts and feelings to friends or family through relatable scenes of home working and school. The film also highlights the experience of joining DMYH Wellbeing groups that provide safe non-judgemental spaces for young people to express themselves with others like them – and a trained facilitator. It visually shows how expressing themselves with like-minded peers can make a huge difference. This can help young people understand what is going on for them.

Our new Wellbeing n’ chat groups

Dorset Mind Your Head offers a range of groups for young people from ages 11-18 across Dorset. They are delivered in two age brackets. Our first new group ‘Craft n’ chat,’ that will be held at Create @ Upton, starts the week commencing 21st June, with the others following shortly after. These groups make wellbeing for young people a priority within the local community and give teens the chance to follow their own interests. They offer opportunities for children and young people to find ways to express themselves through activities that complement talking. This is essential for positive mental health and wellbeing.

Marianne Storey, CEO of Dorset Mind, comments, “Reaching out for support is such a brave step for people of any age. Our campaign is vital to reassure young people that there is support out there that is easily accessed. This is particularly important after the effects of the pandemic, which lead to young people feeling isolated and unsupported.”

Tia Thorp, Children and Young People Service Manager adds, “Our new activity led wellbeing groups offer the chance to talk, learn new coping skills and get involved in their own interests.

Young people are under enormous amounts of pressure from school and home life; with additional pressure mounting from isolation experienced during the pandemic. DMYH groups are participant-focused and led by those who attend. This ensures that what is covered during sessions is relevant, useful, and relatable for all.

Unlike most mental health support, our support groups do not have long waiting lists so help can be accessed quickly, so no young person in Dorset is left to deal with their thoughts and feelings alone.”

Dr Andy Mayers, Patron for Dorset Mind and Principal Academic at Bournemouth University says “It’s so important that we reach young people early for mental health support. We know that the sooner we do that, the better equipped they can be for maintaining mental wellbeing into adulthood. This new DMYH campaign will help us do that.”

Find out more

View full the animation on Dorset Mind’s YouTube channel. To access further information about DMYH’s Wellbeing n’ chat Groups or to complete a referral form for any of their activity and wellbeing groups, find out more here.

Huge thanks to Anthony and the team at Little Blue Hut for their creativity bringing our ideas to life. Find out more about them Little Blue Hut.

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