Award for project tackling stigma
BRISTOL youth project Mentality has won a prestigious award that aims to recognise and celebrate the potential that exists in all young people.
The announcement that the group, based in St Michael's Hill, had won a Philip Lawrence Award was made by Lord Henley, minister of state for crime prevention and anti-social behaviour reduction, at the House of Commons. The awards, managed by the crime reduction charity Nacro and supported by the Home Office, celebrate the positive contribution groups of young people make in their communities to counter crime, violence, bullying and racism, and challenge negative stereotypes.
Mentality was launched in December 2009 and aims to challenge negative attitudes surrounding the issue of mental health, and raise awareness about mental health problems as well as providing support and advice for young people, and opening up a frank public discussion.
Members, aged 13 to 19, are committed to filling the gap that exists in the mental health information available to young people.
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They meet weekly to design and develop public mental health campaigns around reducing the stigma attached to mental health issues and talk about any other issues of their choosing, such as body image, anger, and coping with exam stress.
The group is due to be presented with its award at an event at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery on the March 5.
Project manager Laura Brain said: "The Mentality project has a huge ambition to end the negative stigma of mental health among young people in Bristol. This in itself is a hard challenge, but if you add the fact that these young people have their own challenges in life and many are studying for GCSEs and A-levels, then this goal is particularly difficult.
"These young people turn up every week with great ideas and a passion to change views on mental health."