Spot the Signs - Adnabod yr Arwyddion

What is the injustice we are solving?
A project aiming to ensure that everyone can spot the signs of mental illness in children and young people.

We currently do this by delivering interactive workshops which are currently aimed at years 7-9s in schools, to educate them on different mental illnesses and to show that it can affect ANYONE. There is a focus on teaching them some of the signs you can look out for to know that somebody might be struggling, and how to deal with that situation. We would like to be able to expand the project to deliver workshops to young and older age groups as well as delivering training to teachers, parents and professionals.

The project was founded when one of our volunteers, Naomi decided that something needed to be done to make sure that people could spot the signs of mental illness. At the age of 14 she had started suffering with a anxiety and panic attacks but nobody picked up on the signs - this meant that she suffered alone for over a year before she felt able to tell anyone. Childline were the first people she told and from there things started to improve as she gained the confidence to be able to tell those around her what she had been going through. Naomi doesn't want anyone to have to go through what she went through and so has founded this project to try and change that.

Our aim is to bilingually educate people to spot the signs of mental illness or poor mental health in young people whilst allowing young people's voices and views to be central to our development. We also are providing information on our website www.spotthesignsmh.co.uk for those of you in areas we cannot reach so that everyone can learn to spot the signs of mental illness. We hope you can all support us on our mission - led by young people who are experts by experience!
Our Compassionate Solution
To solve this injustice of
young people and the adults in their lives being unable to spot the signs of mental illness
we will address
the lack of education being provided around identifying the signs of mental illness
by
Delivering interactive workshops and training, delivered by young people who are experts by experience in the topic, to young people and the adults in their lives (Teachers, Carers and Professionals)
This project doesn't have any updates to show.
Kelsey T.

May 04, 2018

Hi Naomi! This is such a wonderful project addressing such a critical issue -- it is so important that folks learn more about mental illness so they support one another! I'm part of the Peace First team and wanted to give you some feedback on your compassionate insight. We provide feedback to help people get ready for the "Plan" phase of their peacemaking project!

I think your insight is clear and strong as is -- it is important that people be able to spot the signs of mental illness in order to support people, and you've identified a clear root cause of people not spotting the signs (a lack of education). I love your idea to deliver interactive workshops and training -- and especially love that those will be delivered by young people to both their peers and adults in their lives!

Although your insight is strong already, as you continue to carry out your work, I'd encourage you to continue to explore the root causes -- including the root cause of the root cause you've identified: why do you think it is that there is a lack of education around identifying the signs of mental illness? I wonder if there is a way that your project is (or can) addressing some of the wider root causes that result in a lack of education around this issue. Reflecting more on this might make your insight -- and project -- even stronger!

It looks like you're ready to move to the PLAN stage of your project -- be sure to check out our Plan tools if you haven't already. Once you'e submitted your project plan through your dashboard, you'll be able to apply for a mini-grant to support the materials you need (up to 250 pounds).
https://www.peacefirst.org/plan-your-project

Excited to share more about your next steps! Keep up the amazing work!
Adrian B.

February 21, 2018

Hi Naomi!

Thanks so much for posting this project. Educating people about what mental illnesses can look/sound/feel like is so important. I love this project!

The next step is for you to submit your compassionate insight. Why do you think people don't spot the signs of mental illnesses? It can help to answer this question by interviewing not only people who have had these experiences (like yourself), but also people who cause this injustice, and people who are also working to solve the problem. Here are some resources on how to do that: https://www.peacefirst.org/projects/test-project-3/dashboard/understand-injustice

I'm also happy to think through with you any resources you might need--I have lots of articles on these topics (many that go into intersecting identities and how they impact mental health--have you been thinking about varying cultural expressions of mental illnesses?), and know of a number of cool organizations doing this work too. Just let me know if that would be useful, or if there are other ways we can support your work!

Thanks so much for doing this. We're excited to see this project grow!

Best,
Adrian
Naomi L.

March 28, 2018

any articles you have, particularly on the varying cultural expression, would be really helpful, thank you!
Adrian B.

April 03, 2018

Sure thing! I don't know as much specifically about a Welsh context. I'm sharing some articles I found Welsh mental health for people of color, in case it's useful. Some of the other stuff I'm sharing is in a US context (apologies!), but may have some useful ideas that do transfer over. I hope it's useful!

Articles and organizations focused on Wales:

https://www.diversecymru.org.uk/bme-mental-health/
http://diversityhealthcare.imedpub.com/improving-the-quality-of-access-to-mental-health-information-and-care-the-views-of-health-practitioners-and-social-work-professionals-in-wales.php?aid=2403
https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/ethnic-minorities-face-mental-health-1840147
http://www.wales.nhs.uk/healthtopics/populations/minorityethnicgroups

Discussion of the variety of experiences and manifestations of mental health/altered states:

http://www.psychotherapy.com.au/fileadmin/site_files/pdfs/InterfaceFeb2009.pdf
https://jezebel.com/5445352/the-mind-in-the-world-mental-illness-culture-and-why-america-may-not-know-best
http://www.open.edu/openlearn/body-mind/health/cultural-differences-mental-health

Barriers and problems people of color face:

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/minority-mental-health-statistics_us_57a4c099e4b021fd98787185
http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/african-american-mental-health
https://restforresistance.com/zine/mental-health-is-different-for-people-of-color
https://www.tc.pbs.org/wgbh/takeonestep/depression/pdf/dep_color.pdf
http://www.dukechronicle.com/article/2017/10/mental-health-and-people-of-color-a-quiet-conversation
https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/blog/5-key-takeaways-2017-lgbtq-people-color-mental-health-conference
https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/bjdnvv/finding-therapy-isnt-easy-for-queer-and-trans-people-of-color

How to support mental health needs in communities of color:

http://www.blackenterprise.com/promoting-the-mental-health-needs-of-college-students-of-color/
https://everydayfeminism.com/2017/08/people-of-color-mental-health/
https://mental-health-matters.com/five-ways-you-can-support-the-mental-health-of-people-of-color/
https://www.touchstonemh.org/july-minority-mental-health-month/

Stories from people of color:

https://www.amazon.com/Color-Hope-People-Mental-Narratives/dp/1514273489
https://www.bustle.com/p/people-of-color-mental-illness-photo-project-tells-the-mental-health-stories-that-arent-being-told-enough-7968876
http://www.creativesmartgirl.com/blog/5-mental-health-blogs-created-for-people-of-color
https://www.7cups.com/ypoc-guide/

I hope this is helpful! Let me know if you want to talk more about any of these ideas. Happy to support this work however I can!

P.S. One more link--this is one of my favorite radical mental health organizations: https://theicarusproject.net/ Check out their resources!