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The Stats

  • 1 in 4 people across the UK are affected every year by mental health issues.
  • 1 in 10 children aged 5-16 years have a diagnosable mental health problem.
  • Early intervention and promoting positive mental health in young people has been proven to improve a range of positive outcomes throughout their lives.
  • Mental Illness is the single largest cause of disability in the UK. It is the largest cost to the NHS.
  • Research has shown that in many cases physical activity is as effective as medication in treating depression.
  • Physical activity has been proven to improve feelings of well-being, reduce levels of stress and anxiety and improve self-esteem and confidence.

Tackling the Problem

The stigma that surrounds mental health is still a massive issue. HeadsUP is aiming to break that stigma by increasing understanding and encouraging people to talk openly about their issues. We believe that the best way to tackle this problem is to educate the next generation. By engaging with young people through sessions in schools and other community groups, we will ensure that people will grow up with a better understanding of mental health. We’ll also be promoting skills to help maintain positive mental health. Where necessary we will be able to signpost and refer young people to local services and online resources.

We strongly believe that all young people should have access to free, specialist mental health awareness training. In many cases schools simply do not have the staff or resources to deliver the necessary support to children. Sessions will be customised to suit the group but will include a presentation, videos, guest speakers, group discussions and activities. Research suggests, there is a strong link between physical activity and positive mental health. We will therefore be encouraging young people to increase their levels of exercise. This does not necessarily mean taking up running or joining your local football team; but can be as simple as walking to school instead of catching a bus, gardening or taking a yoga class.

We will be working in partnership with local leisure centres, sports teams as well as individual sports men & women. Sessions will include contributions from elite athletes who may have experienced issues as well as those who have maintained positive mental health during their careers. In sharing some of the issues they have faced, our ideology that ‘It’s OK, to not be OK’ will be strengthened and allow young people to associate with their idols.

Centred in Devon, we will begin the delivery of our sessions in October, with several schools signed up to pilot the project. This will allow us to receive vital feedback and finetune the delivery, increasing the impact of future sessions. With the project already receiving very positive feedback from Devon CAMHS (Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services) Senior Manager, education authorities and local sports teams we’re in a great position to successfully launch our project and achieve our longer-term objectives.

How You Can Help

Your support would enable us to fund a full-time presenter as well as vital equipment and resources to be used in our sessions. We really hope HeadsUP is something you can get involved in at some level. Click below to confirm your interest in being a HeadsUP sponsor.

HeadsUP Mental Health Awareness Ltd is a non-profit organisation and any surpluses will be used to improve access to mental health support and physical activity within the local community.