One in ten children and young people are likely to suffer from some form of diagnosable mental health need.

Stigma about mental health can stop children and young people talking about their feelings, and reinforce negative views about mental health. This ultimately means that they are less likely to seek the help they need.

The Future in Mind Partnership for Derby and Derbyshire has launched a new campaign that looks to combat stigma – Be a Mate.

The Be a Mate campaign sends a clear message that stigma is wrong, and that we should support people that need help.  Children and young people themselves helped to develop the campaign.

Talking about feelings is the first step to getting help but children and young people can feel reluctant to tell anyone that they are struggling with their feelings.  They can be afraid that their friends and family will judge them negatively, or call them names that could be hurtful.

Anti – stigma ambassadors

The Be a Mate campaign is encouraging schools and community groups to join in by becoming anti – stigma ambassadors, and develop their own actions to tackle stigma and promote great mental health in children and young people.

Be a Mate aims to have an anti-stigma ambassador in every school and community group in Derby City and Derbyshire.

Free training sessions on what can be done are being held across Derby and Derbyshire, with the aim of supporting schools and community groups to create an environment where it is safe and comfortable to talk about mental health so we can enhance the well-being of everyone.

The sessions are between 9:15am and 2:30pm at:

  • Tues 31st October – Buxton Community School, Buxton
  • Wed 1st November – Brookfield Community School, Chesterfield
  • Tuesday 14th November – Wilsthorpe Community School, Long Eaton
  • Wed 15th November – David Nieper Academy , Alfreton
  • Tues 21st November – Merrill Academy, Derby
  • Wed 22nd November – Whittington Green School, Old Whittington

To book your places please contact:

jane.o’byrne@derbyshire.gov.uk or yvonne.wright@derbyshire.gov.uk

01629 532827

Tiny Simbani, Derby’s Youth Mayor said:

“I’m really happy to see a campaign that highlights mental health in children and young people in Derby.

“Stigma is a huge barrier when it comes to getting the care and services necessary for to lead a healthier and safer life.”

Councillor Sarah Russell, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills added:

“The idea of this campaign is to change the current conversation about mental health from one of illness, to wellness and to lessen the stigma that prevents some teens and families from seeking the help they need.

“It’s so important to promote good mental health from a young age to ensure that our children and young people feel supported, and that their feelings and opinions are being listened to and acknowledged. It also means that when they grow into adults who will be able to set the same example to younger generations.”

Free School Resource Pack

The Future in Mind Partnership has commissioned a free schools resource pack to help schools promote great mental health.  The packs have complete lesson plans and plenty of information and activities to stimulate discussion and understanding.  The packs are also an interesting read for anyone who has an interest in mental health and well-being.  The pack can be downloaded for free at:

Emotional and Mental Health: A Resource For Schools

Follow the campaign on Twitter and Facebook.