On Tuesday 10 October, World Mental Health Day 2017, and beyond, YMCAs and young people from across the world will come together to challenge the stigma that is stopping individuals affected by mental health difficulties speaking out and seeking help.
At the recent YMCA Change Agent Global Gathering in Portugal, Johan Vilhelm Eltvik, YMCA Secretary General, encouraged YMCAs to get involved with the #IAMWHOLE campaign.
“Through our #IAMWHOLE campaign we are providing young people with a platform to speak out on the biggest health issue affecting them right now. Our very own One Million Voices research found that more than a third of young people are lacking the information they want and need on mental health.”
Poor mental health is costing more and more children and young people their education and their employment prospects. And without action, it is costing them their lives.
YMCAs and young people can get involved in a number of ways
1. Sign up to the Thunderclap campaign CLICK HERE that will send out a single united message speaking out against mental health stigma on World Mental Health Day.
2. On the day, Tuesday 10 October, post an #IAMWHOLE selfie or your own video in your native language to your social media channels.
3. Publicise the campaign at your YMCA and in the local media, and get young people involved, by using the Campaign Pack. You can sign up to receive this CLICK HERE.
You can also download an exercise sheet on harmful versus helpful language when talking about mental health to be used with youth groups, and posters, available in English, French, Russian and Spanish. Click here to download them
How to take the #IAMWHOLE selfie
1. Picking a thick coloured pen that you feel reflects your current feelings or state of mind.
2. Draw the #IAMWHOLE circle on your left hand and hold it up to the camera, just like Johan.
3. Take a landscape photo and post it on Tuesday 10 October accompanied by some words about why you are supporting #IAMWHOLE, for example, “YMCA is speaking out against harmful language around mental health. Together we are whole. #IAMWHOLE”