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Barking and Dagenham teens raise awareness of mental health

PUBLISHED: 13:00 06 July 2016

Zivile Gudeikyte, Karan Haggar, Reece Haggar, Danielle Clifford and Lillie Killington from the BADYF

Zivile Gudeikyte, Karan Haggar, Reece Haggar, Danielle Clifford and Lillie Killington from the BADYF

Archant

A team of teenagers are creating a short video to help raise awareness of mental health issues among their peers.

Members of the Barking and Dagenham Youth Forum (BADYF)initially created a questionnaire that they distributed to secondary schools across the borough.

The lack of knowledge exposed in the 250 completed responses made the group realise the extent of the stigma surrounding the issue.

The results showed that many students were unaware of what qualifies as mental health, with some writing that tiredness and pre-menstruation tension were mental health problems.

Reece Hagger, who attends Robert Clack School in Dagenham, said: “From the results of the questionnaire we concluded that not many young people know about mental health.”

The 15-year-old and his fellow BADYF volunteers decided that the best way to raise awareness of the issue was to create a video.

“We set about making a short video for the schools,” Reece explained.

“We took our inspiration from videos on the internet because we thought it was something that would grab the students’ attention.”

The process also enabled the group to learn a lot of things about mental health that they didn’t previously know.

“I found it very interesting,” Reece admitted. “I learnt about the mental illness spectrum and we learnt that it depends on how you feel each day.”

All the BADYF members involved in the project during the last few months will star in the film, which they are currently in the process of making.

They hope to screen the finished product in schools throughout the borough.

To find out more about BADYF, visit lbbd.gov.uk

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