The last 18 months has seen Somerset County Council work with groups of young people across Somerset to explore what was important to them relating to mental health. A key need emerged that young people wanted to know how to help their own mental health but also how to help their friends with mental health issues. Project Lead Alice Hoyle met with young people in person and remotely across Somerset to explore these issues in more detail. We initially established a young people friendly definition of mental health: “Mental Health is as important as physical health. Having good mental health is the ability to cope with everyday life, do things you enjoy and meet your life needs. It also means asking for help when you need it and bouncing back when things don’t go to plan.” We also developed two lists of tips for supporting your own mental health and for supporting friends with theirs. We developed each tip to include a headline statement, an explanatory paragraph of information, a direction to find out more info, a personal true story from a young person (testimonial) plus a suggested action point. Since the term ‘Tips’ aren’t very young people friendly, when one of our group suggested LifeHacks as an excellent alternative, we decided to go with it! The core resource is two "Little Books of Mental Health LifeHacks" one for supporting yourself and one for supporting your friend. The booklets are available online as PDF's and are packed with hyperlinks to more information. We worked with designers to create and booklets and we developed postcards and posters to help lead young people to the online resource
Posters and Postcards - To help get the message out about this great resource, we’ve made a series of helpful A3 and A4 posters and a postcard too. Examples are on the website. These can be downloaded or print copies ordered from Cait Handsford
. Please note resources can by picked up from County Hall or your nearest GP practice. This work was funded by Somerset County Council Public Health. Please share the LifeHacks link
with all the Somerset practitioners working with young people you know and Somerset young people. Please contact Alice Hoyle
for more information about the project or to explore the possibility of having the Somerset Young Mental Health Champions to come into your school to talk about the project.