MERSEYSIDE Youth Association (MYA) has announced details of a programme of events as part of the city’s World Mental Health Day (Oct 10) this week.
Throughout October, daily ‘inspirational cards’ are being distributed at various citywide events. The cards, which have been designed by local children and young people, contain inspirational quotes, sayings and pictures encouraging healthy mindfulness.
Kath Thompson, the mental health promotion worker at Merseyside Youth Association explains: “We asked children to submit their designs back in June, since then the response has been amazing – we received over 900 submissions, so it’s great to see the winning 30 designs sharing messages of positivity, reflecting good mental health. “Often the words ‘mental health’ are perceived as negative, we want to inspire young people to look after their mental wellbeing as much as their physical health. We’re also encouraging them to meditate/focus on a different card each day during the month.”
This is just one of many initiatives MYA is developing as part of the Liverpool CAMHS offer (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services).
The cards will also be available digitally on the LiverpoolFYI website (www.liverpoolfyi.com) and via schools, young peoples’ services and doctors surgeries.
Lauren Edwards, assistant head of year nine at Calderstones, one of the participating schools said: “The response from the pupils has been fantastic. Promoting positive mental health is really important to both staff and pupils at Calderstones and the pupils have engaged brilliantly with the Inspire Cards.
“They are being used as thought of the days and as part of a wider scheme of mental health projects the school is undertaking. We received a huge amount on entries due to the enthusiasm around the competition and we were immensely proud that six of our pupils were amongst the lucky winners.”
In addition to the cards, MYA are also holding two events. Make a Noise About Mental Health will be an open-mic event delivered by MYA’s Noise and Healthline projects. On Thursday October 8 between 7-9pm, anyone with a musical talent is invited to visit MYA’s hub on Hanover Street.
“Instruments will be provided, so just turn up, plug in and play.” Says Garth Jones, MYA’s community music worker. “We’ll also be welcoming some special guests, including a performance from young members of our Noise project, it’s going to be a great evening.”
On the following Saturday, October 10, Fun With Food For Wellbeing will feature an afternoon of engaging activities for parents, carers, children and young people aged 5-14.
Leigh Horner, participation worker from MYA’s mental health promotion team explains: “The aim of this event is to promote positive physical and mental health. “For parents and carers, we’ll be demonstrating free relaxation techniques as well as offering advice for parent and children’s wellbeing, whilst for children and young people, there will be a range of activities including art and craft, music and drama, as well as interactive cooking sessions.”
Fun With Food For Wellbeing takes place at Quaker Meeting House, School Lane, between 1-4pm. Advance booking is advisable to avoid disappointment. For more information on World Mental Health Day and the full events programme for Liverpool visit http://www.liverpoolmentalhealth.org You can find out more about CAMHS in Liverpool, including access to a range of free training, on the www.liverpoolfyi.com website.