What is resilience – and how can you build yours? Lizzie Gardiner, member of The Senior Section, takes us through our new Think Resilient resource, and explains why we all need to start talking more about our mental well-being.
Did you know: our Girls' Attitudes Survey last year revealed that almost half of girls aged 17 to 21 have needed support with their mental health? Despite this, two thirds of girls in this age group feel talking about mental health is awkward.
Our new resource – Think Resilient – hopes to equip girls with the mental resilience they need to deal with life's challenges.
Think Resilient is the latest resource to be delivered by our Peer Educators – young members who are trained to run informative, interactive sessions with girls on sensitive topics. 'Resilience' simply describes the capacity someone has to adapt in times of stress and hardship, and this new resource is all about raising awareness of its importance.
Think Resilient uses fun, energetic activities to get girls exploring ways to improve their mental well-being. The resource also encourages girls to establish a network of trusted friends and adults they can turn to if they need support, ensuring they can carry on looking after their mental well-being after the sessions have finished.
Our Peer Educators are really passionate about mental well-being. When they were asked to choose a topic for a new resource, 42% wanted to create something that addressed stress and mental health problems – and it's no surprise when you realise just how many girls are affected.
The 2015 Girls' Attitudes Survey found that 62 per cent of girls aged 11 to 21 know a girl or young woman who has experienced a mental health problem. Sadly, 82% of these girls feel like adults don't recognise the pressure they are under.
That's why Think Resilient is such an excellent way to start a conversation about mental well-being. Through peer education, we can provide a safe but enjoyable way for girls to develop the skills they need to cope in difficult times.
I was one of the lucky people chosen to help create this resource. A team of nine of us met up in London and put our heads together to decide what kinds of things we felt girls needed to know about mental well-being. The sessions overflowed with ideas for activities, and we soon filled the room with colourful pieces of paper and Post-It notes!
After this initial meeting, we got support from experts at mental health charity YoungMinds to refine our plans. We also ran some of our activity ideas in our own units, to test them out and see whether we needed to change anything. Once the format was finalised, the team at Girlguiding HQ helped us put the finishing touches on the design and wording.
A few of my friends have suffered with mental health problems, but before I got involved with Think Resilient, I was unaware of how I could help. It was frustrating to see people I cared about going through something I didn't totally understand – so I applied to be part of the group to change that.
Mental well-being is not something that is talked about in schools, which makes resources like Think Resilient all the more important. I just wish something like this had been around when I was younger!
So much work has gone into Think Resilient and I'm really proud to be a part of it. I can't wait to see what the rest of my fellow members think.
Interested in bringing Think Resilient to your unit? Register your interest below.Register your interest