Wellbeing and mental health support remain high on the agenda for Richmond Youth Service and we recognise that even the most resilient, smart and creative young people may need some support in maintaining their day-to-day wellbeing and this is why we, with the support of the Kingston and Richmond Youth Council, created Beautiful Minds.
‘All the children absolutely loved the day, the activities and staff were fantastic and it really highlighted the importance of mental health.’ (Teacher feedback)
It is quite apt that the Kingston and Richmond Youth Council decided upon the name ‘Beautiful Minds’ for this wellbeing event as we have a generation of young people who despite reduced services, increased waiting lists, COVID lockdowns and now a cost of living crisis remain beautifully resilient, creative, active, smart, funny and any other positive superlative you can think of.
‘Miss - can we do this every year? I feel like I've had a brain refresh!’ (Participant feedback)
This free event, held on 16 and 17 May 2023, welcomed over 350 students from over 20 local schools and was part of Mental Health Awareness Week 2023. The event was a celebration of the ways in which the Richmond Youth Service supports young people's mental wellbeing, while providing young people with access to local mental health support services and wellbeing activities.
Youth service staff were supported on the day by a number of our local valued specialist services: RB Mind, Off the Record and Free2Be, who ran wellbeing activity workshops and stalls providing education, guidance, and links to additional community support structures. We were also supported on the day by a host of partner organisations: Cosmic Martial Arts, Alter Ego theatre productions, Gwen Ramsay from Culture4Keeps and Skates and Ladders plus more. Highlighting how beneficial exercise is to improve their mental health and wellbeing through resilience building (skateboarding) and problem-solving (wall-climbing).
‘One of the students we brought has spent three years struggling with peer relationships and yesterday sat with her Beautiful Minds gang at lunch.’ (Teacher feedback)
Within event feedback, 100% of teachers who attended with their students remarked that they believe their students would benefit from an annual mental health event like this one and 100% commented that they would recommend the event to other schools.
‘Our children said "it was the best school trip that they had ever been on".' (Teacher feedback)
You can view a full video of the event.
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Below are some images from the event: