Our challenge is looking to raise £3,500 for schools to access the ThinkWell programme developed for schools by Pixel Learning. ThinkWell is an incredible programme that uses the power of film to inspire empathy in young people, empowering them to deal with challenging issues before they reach a point of crisis, and positively reinforces and encourages young people to take the first step in asking for support.
The challenge started out as a personal adventure for me, a journey I wanted to experience and document. The link with mental health came about due to mental health challenges recently coming to the fore with colleagues, close friends, and people I saw as always in ‘good health’. Little did I know. As we all begin to talk more about mental health, I wondered how I could play by part. The more I researched on mental health the more I realised that understanding the different pathways individuals can take to mental health well-being is a challenge in itself. My adventure was to have many different stages, whether on a bike, in a boat or in boots; promoting pathways for mental health was the link that felt right.
Here is what Pixel Learning have to say about their work:
“Pixel Learning is a unique collaboration between film and education that takes the very best of documentaries and re-imagines these in interactive workshops for young people to explore challenging subjects in a safe and supportive environment.
Our aim is to use film to inspire empathy in young people empowering them to deal with challenging issues before they reach a point of crisis. We believe that it is the children and young people of the UK, over 15 million of them who make up over 20% of the population, who will be the agents of social change. All of our work is about empowering and enabling young people so that they can affect cultural change for the next generation.
With 90% of children experiencing stigma and discrimination as a result of a mental health issue and 75% of all mental health problems start before the age of 21 we are currently focusing on mental health with a workshop called ThinkWell that can act as a crucial early intervention for young people.
ThinkWell uses exclusive footage from the award-winning Channel 4 documentary, The Stranger on the Bridge, about Jonny Benjamin’s search for the hero who stopped him taking his life off Waterloo Bridge and the phenomenal global social media campaign it sparked to help him on his quest.
Through reflecting on the different stages of Jonny’s story, participants are facilitated and supported to talk about issues of emotional wellbeing and stigmas around mental health. In this way, ThinkWell has proven to be hugely successful in improving young people’s awareness of mental health issues and their confidence and knowledge in how to seek support for themselves and others.”
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