The Free Your Mind Campaign - The Facts
What is the Free Your Mind Campaign UK?
The Free Your Mind Campaign UK (FYMC) is a philanthropic amalgamation of Youth Councils, Youth Chambers, schools, members of Youth Parliament, MP's and most importantly supporters like you who wish to fight against the ever growing concerns of mental health issues amongst teenagers.
The campaign has main two goals:
1. Raise an understanding and awareness of mental health
2. Create a place for young people to 'Free Their Mind'
1. Raising Awareness
Raising awareness means a lot for the FYMC because mental health issues can most of the time be dealt with or alleviated by simply having more support from friends and family.
But to even begin that process, awareness needs to occur in the person with the disorder himself! Identifying a problem is of course the place to start tackling it. The following startling facts show just how much of a problem mental health issues have become in the UK.
2. The Free Your Mind Initiative
The 'Free Your Mind' initiative is the part where the FYMC comes up with and executes its ideas to help young people out with their mental health issues. The primary goal is to start up a government supported anonymous website for teenagers to visit and discuss their issues.
The function of this website will be to:
- Help teenagers to know whether or not they have mental illnesses via things like free online tests, information pages, videos, and the chat room.
- Solve teenage mental health problems by giving the opportunity to speak anonymously to psychiatrists in chat rooms who will offer advice, someone to talk to, and guidance on where to go for serious illnesses.
- Further spread the awareness of mental health issues.
See below for why the FYMC works so hard to tackle mental health issues.
Children and Teenagers
- About 10% of children have a mental health problem at any given time.
- About 20% experience a mental health problem in any given year.
- Mental disorders affect 12.8% of boys aged 11-15,
- Mental disorders affect 9.65% of girls aged 11-15.
- Teenagers in the mid-2000s were twice as likely to frequently feel depressed or anxious than those growing up in the mid-1980s
- Between 8-12% of the population experience depression in any given year.
- 25.1% (1 in 4) of 13 to 18 year olds will have an anxiety disorder
- 46.3 % of 13 to 18 year olds will have a mental disorder
- Mixed anxiety & depression is the most common mental disorder, with nearly 9% of people meeting criteria for diagnosis.
- 90% of people will experience a mental health disorder in their lifetime (Mental Health Foundation)
- In the world, approximately 450 million people worldwide have a mental health problem in this very moment.
Achievements and Support
The FYMC has not been idle and the team have worked very hard to gain support and help the youth of today.
The Free Your Mind Campaign has gained the support of:
- 92% of the UKYP members (representatives of all of the youth in their counties) in the south east of the UK are in full support of the Free Your Mind Campaign. The rest have not yet held votes.
- 15 Members of Youth Parliament
- Saint Birinus School
- The Young People's Xchange
- West Sussex Youth Cabinet - Health Porfolio
- South Oxfordshire Youth Cabinet
- The Isle of Wight Youth Council
- Henry Smith - MP for Crawley
As well as gaining support from organisations, the FYMC has succeeded in:
- Visiting many schools to talk about the issues of youth mental health and spreading awareness.
- Featuring on the radio.
- Securing confidence in taking the issue to the House of Commons with the UK Youth Parliament.
What You Can Do
The FYMC does not ask for donations because we do not need them. Our team works out of philanthropic duty and so we don't have much need for upkeeping running costs.
However, we do need to show the government that we have as much support as there actually is out there.
A Quick Poll
Do you think a government supported anonymous website dealing with youth mental illnesses is a good idea?
Teenagers want it
Using a sample of approximately 500 British teenagers from all over the country, it was found that:
- 72% would use an online anonymous mental health website
- Am I OK?
The Am I OK NHS Trust website has been designed to assist young people to recognise difficulties they may be developing and to signpost them to the most appropriate care pathway available.