GIRLGUIDING SCOTLAND PEER EDUCATORS HELP GET OVER 500 GIRLS TALKING ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH

Girlguiding Scotland has helped more than 500 girls get talking about positive mental health as part of an innovative peer education programme.

This Mental Health Awareness Week Girlguiding Scotland is celebrating helping more than 500 girls to get talking about mental health and renewing our commitment to help even more girls in the year ahead.

Developed in partnership with mental health charity Young Minds, Think Resilient aims to help girls age 10 and up boost their mental well-being, find positive ways to deal with day to day pressures and encourage them to speak up.

Research by Girlguiding has highlighted mental health as a top concern for girls, with 69 per cent of girls age 7-21 saying they feel they are not good enough. Over half of girls in the same age group said they would not seek help because feel uncomfortable talking about their feelings.

Think Resilient is packed with fun and interactive activities to help girls talk openly about mental health and is delivered by a network of over 60 Peer Educators in Scotland. These young members age 14-26 have been specially trained to help girls talk about tough issues from positive body image to mental health.

Following the success of the first year running Think Resilient sessions across Scotland, Girlguiding Scotland hopes to help even more girls talk about mental health.

Mhairi MacKay, age 23, from Midlothian is the Lead Volunteer for Peer Education across the UK, as well a Leader with her local Brownie unit. She says: “Mental wellbeing can be a difficult topic to discuss and understand but is so crucial to our daily lives and the lives of our young members. Sometimes it’s easier to talk about tough issues will someone a little closer to your own age so our peer educators are trained to deliver sessions on everything from body confidence to mental health.

“Peer Education empowers and develops young women to run thought-provoking and fun activities, helping Brownies, Guides and members of the Senior Section to explore how they can deal with challenging situations in life better, using resilience-building techniques.

“I’m delighted our Peer Educators have delivered Think Resilient for more than 500 girls in Scotland and I want to see even more girls benefit from sessions in the year ahead.”

Katie-Rebecca Whitham, age 21, a Guide Leader, Senior Section Advisor and Peer Educator in Dundee, said: “I think it’s incredibly important to give girls a safe space to talk about important issues like metal health. From personal experience, I know how hard it can be to need help but feel alone and that’s why I feel that Think Resilient is so important, to make sure the girls know that it’s okay to talk about worries and problems.

“I love being able to go to units around Scotland and to talk to the girls about the ways that they can deal with issues like stress of school or university, pressure at work, peer pressure, bullying or problems at home.

“Think Resilient gives girls the tools to build up resilience and learn healthy ways to cope with everyday pressures. It also reminds girls that they’re not alone, that mental health is an important topic to be able talk about and that it’s essential to ask for help if they’re struggling.

“I am immensely proud to be a Peer Educator, knowing what a difference the sessions we deliver can make to the girls. I can’t wait to deliver more sessions across Scotland in 2017 and to help more girls get talking!”

Peer education is just one of the ways Girlguiding Scotland supports girls and young women to use their voice and grow in confidence. Our varied programme for girls age 5 to 25 includes a wide range of activities – from outdoor adventure to social action, advocacy to international travel.

To find out how you can join the fun and adventure of Girlguiding Scotland as a young member or an adult volunteer visit www.girlguidingscotland.org.uk/get-involved/

 

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For further information, please contact Mairi Gordon, Media and PR Officer at 0131 226 4511 / 07852 554 779 or marketing@girlguiding-scot.org.uk

About the Girls Attitude Survey

  • Girls’ Attitudes 2016 is a survey of 1,627 girls and young women aged between 7 and 21 who were asked about their attitudes on a range of issues from health and wellbeing to relationships and careers.
  • A panel of young women from within Girlguiding works with the project team to develop the survey and to comment on its findings. Those surveyed form a representative sample across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and are not restricted to those involved in guiding.
  • Research was conducted by leading research specialists on children and young people Childwise and fieldwork took place during March to May 2016.
  • The questionnaire was adapted to be suitable for different age groups (7-11, 11-16, 16-21), with some core questions asked of all groups.

About Girlguiding Scotland:

Girlguiding Scotland is the leading charity for girls and young women in Scotland, with 50,000 young members. We build girls’ confidence and raise their aspirations. We give them the chance to discover their full potential and encourage them to be a powerful force for good. We give them a space to have fun. Find out more at www.girlguidingscotland.org.uk