YoungMinds Vs

We teamed up with young people and gave them a voice to tackle some of the biggest issues facing children in the UK today including bullying, sexual pressures and a lack of work opportunities

Why we campaigned

Mental health shouldn’t be a taboo subject. So we spoke to over 5,600 young people to find out about the problems they faced and started an online movement to get young people talking about them.

The big issues were:

  • Bullying – 1 in 5 young people are bullied in any given month and 1 million children in the UK are bullied every week while 16,000 miss school at any one time because of bullying.
  • No work - having no work can make young people feel worthless, undervalued and fearful for the future. With no purpose, structure or money, many young people feel depressed and anxious.
  • Sexual pressure - our culture is sexed up. Sex is in our faces on a daily basis, and it can make us feel stressed about what we should be doing sexually.

What we did

To tackle the issues, we launched YoungMinds VS – an online campaign led by young people that brought together:

  • 1,500 young activists who led conversation online
  • media champions who represented the campaign raising awareness in the media and acting as a voice for all children and young people
  • local and national decision makers to directly start influencing young people’s services

What we campaigned for

As well as raising awareness of the biggest issues facing young people, we also campaigned for change, identifying key changes in each area, including:

  • mandatory sex education in all schools , designed for the real world, including information about consent and what a healthy relationship looks like, and a chance to talk about what's on their minds
  • schools to have dedicated efforts to build young people’s emotional strength so they could cope better with the challenges of growing up and that includes bullying
  • the government to create more apprenticeships, internships and opportunities to do voluntary work to give young people work experience, structure and purpose
  • mandatory mental health awareness training for Jobcentre staff and everyone who deals with young people not in education, employment or training.
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