Headstrong is a new online space aimed exclusively at young people with a focus on promoting positive mental wellbeing.
A new head-space for young people
Mental wellbeing was already an important issue for young people but, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, those needs have become even more urgent. It has turned the lives of millions of children and young people upside down. Many are finding it hard to cope with isolation, a loss of routine, anxiety about the future, a disruption to their education, and in some cases, difficult or traumatic experiences at home.
Young people’s mental wellbeing was a concern before the pandemic. Prof. Jean Twenge has famously described young people today as: "the most physically safe, but emotionally fragile generation in history". There’s never been a more important time to support young people with their wellbeing. But youth leaders can often feel unsure about how to talk to young people about problems like anxiety or self-harm – or know where to direct teenagers to get help that is clearly grounded in Christian faith and practice.
Youthscape, with the support of the Mind & Soul Foundation, is launching Headstrong to meet those needs. It’s an online space aimed exclusively at young people with a focus on promoting positive mental wellbeing.
Headstrong has advice and insights from doctors and other professionals, including experienced youth workers. But it’s also a space where young people can contribute, posting their own vlogs and content. It’s full of humour and fun, with competitions and quizzes to help lift mood. Over the next few months many new services are being rolled out, including live support groups and hundreds of new videos offering advice and support.
Youthscape has been supporting young people’s mental wellbeing for more than fifteen years, launching SelfharmUK in 2010 and developing a wide range of mental health resources including Alumina, a programme to support those who are self-harming. Our work is grounded in our experience with face-to-face support for young people’s mental wellbeing in Bedfordshire.
The Mind & Soul Foundation is one of the most respected UK Christian charities in the field of emotional and mental health. Led by Rev Will Van Der Hart, Dr Kate Middleton, Dr Chi-Chi Obuaya and Dr Rob Waller, the Foundation offers education and training to help churches bridge the gap between mental health and Christian faith.
We'd love your support in getting Headstrong out to the young people it's meant for. How could you tell you those you work with about it – and/or is there anyone in particular who might really benefit from Headstrong? Why not get your group started on it by running a session with them: there's a free sample session on anxiety, that lasts from 60-90 minutes, complete with a music playlist and safeguarding guidance, that you can read here or download at the side of this page. This ready-to-use meeting is designed to be run online or in person – whatever works best for your group. You can also get the premium launch pack (packed full with extra goodies) delivered to you via our Store for just £10, read more about it here. And of course, you can check out the Headstrong site itself here.