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Herts County Council campaign aims to combat mental health issues in young

Iain Lee (6920427)
Iain Lee (6920427)

An award-winning Hertfordshire campaign to get young people talking about their mental health is back for the second year running this week.

#JustTalk encourages young people – especially boys and young men – to open up about things that are worrying them, so that problems can be addressed before they escalate into a crisis.

The county council’s cabinet member for public health, Cllr Tim Hutchings, said: “One in eight young people has a diagnosable mental health problem, so it’s really important that we reach them as early as possible to help them open up and seek support through campaigns like #JustTalk.

“In 2016, 24% of 12 to 13-year-old boys in Hertfordshire kept worries about their mental health to themselves. Following the #JustTalk campaign last year, this figure had reduced to 20% and boys were also more likely to talk to others if they were worried about tests, exams or school work.

“This demonstrates the positive impact that campaigns like #JustTalk can have, both for individuals and as part of our wider prevention agenda.”

This week’s campaign now includes primary schools, colleges, and other youth settings, as well as secondary schools. A #JustTalk toolkit is available to help schools, colleges, sports clubs or any agency working with young people to run short activities, assemblies and lessons throughout the week to share the campaign messages.

Radio presenter and TV personality Iain Lee is supporting the campaign. He said: “This is a subject that is very close to my heart and I fully support any campaigns that aim to help young people, especially boys and young men, cope with mental health issues.

“It really is so important that we all #JustTalk about mental health, to break down the stigma and help young people know that it’s OK to not be OK and that there are people out there who can listen and help.”

For more information about the campaign and downloadable copies of the toolkit and other resources, visit www.justtalkherts.org

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