Latest VIK news

Celebrating the end of YoungMinds VIK project as the work continues

In March, our current young people’s initiative, the VIK project came to a close due to the end of...
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Consultation on TfL’s Schools and Young Person Delivery Plan

Transport for London is currently seeking the views of stakeholders and the public on its new Schoo...
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VIR Lauren and ‘Jane’ talk to the BBC about transitions

On Saturday morning, Lauren a VIR from the North-East region went on BBC Radio 4′s Today progr...
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Wandering minds. (Trigger Warning)

This is an extremely overdue blog about my adventure of the year gone. As is the case with life, thi...
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VIK achievements

Celebrating the end of YoungMinds VIK project as the work continues

In March, our current young people’s initiative, the VIK project came to a close due to the end of our Lottery funded grant. It was a really sad day but that sadness was mixed with a celebration of all the fantastic things the project has achieved as a result of the inspirational young people we have worked with around the country and the commitment, hard work and passion of the group of workers who have put their all into making the project the amazing success it has been.

Our young campaigners between them have changed the face of mental health services forever, have made a huge dent in the stigma surrounding mental health and have raised awareness of the vital importance of children and young people’s resilience and good mental health across the nation. They have met with government ministers, spoken in parliament, sat on national and regional decision making bodies, campaigned on the streets, been interviewed by national and regional print and broadcast media and ensured that young people’s voice in children and young people’s mental health services is heard, valued and acted on

This has included launching a national manifesto for better mental health that has become the leading publication on young people’s demands for what needs to change, meeting with government ministers and speaking with them on public platforms in parliament, being involved in a range of national government consultations, making a series of three films about mental health stigma, developing all the participation support for  the first phase of the children and young people’s IAPT programme, launching a London specific manifesto for the recent mayoral elections and  influencing the training curriculum for the Royal College of Psychatrists. These are just a few highlights, there are so many more!

The young people we have worked with are some of the bravest I have ever met, they have found the courage, despite their personal suffering to tell their stories and put forward their views and opinions in order to make things better for the thousands of young people who are experiencing emotional distress every day. Many of these children and young people are voiceless and they suffer in silence, no one listens to them and many just dont have the strength to speak up and ask for what they need. Some sadly dont make it and we remember them with deep sadness.

We at YoungMinds are honoured to have worked with the young people in our VIK group, it is such a privilege when we are told, “the VIK project has helped give meaning and purpose to some of my very negative experiences”. We have also worked with a group of parents as part of this project who are equally as brave, strong, determined and inspirational as the young people.

The VIK project has ended but this is not the end of our campaigning work with young people. We are waiting to hear from funders about our plans for the next phase of our work – to build a mass movement for change and a national campaigning network that will continue to fight for young people’s mental health and resilience to be core to all decision making both locally and nationally. Young people are and continue to be at the heart of everything we do at YoungMinds and our commitment to giving them a voice and the chance to change attitudes to mental health and service provision will never falter.

Lucie Russell
YoungMinds, Director of Campaigns, Policy and Participation

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In the news

VIR Lauren and ‘Jane’ talk to the BBC about transitions

On Saturday morning, Lauren a VIR from the North-East region went on BBC Radio 4′s Today programme to talk about the problems of transitions from Children to Adult mental health services. Lauren was joined by YoungMinds Chief Executive Sarah Brennan for their interview with Evan Davis.

You can listen to the interview on the link below.

BBC Radio 4 Today 23.02 Sarah and Lauren VIR

Later that evening VIR ‘Jane’ also spoke to BBC Radio Five Live’s Stephen Nolan Show about her experiences.

You can hear the interview here BBC 5Live VIR Jane tranistions

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