Ripple Maker.

A few weekends ago I made my way into town to attend the national See Change Youth Panel training day. I applied for the Youth Panel a while ago and to be honest I was surprised when I got an email saying I was selected for the Youth Panel. I was over the moon. I was given the chance to work with others who also wanted to achieve the same goal as me; they want to reduce the stigma associated with mental health.

Anyway I arrived late but that was because of athletics. When I did arrive I was given a warm and friendly welcome which put me at ease because I was a bit nervous, I’m not going to lie. So I’m guessing there are many of you reading this post and have no idea what See Change does so I will take this chance to tell you about See Change and then a bit about what the Youth Panel does.

So See Change is an organisation which has been set up to work towards reducing the stigma associated with mental health, not just mental illness because there is a stigma associated with mental health as well. They are a partner organisation and work with a number of other organisations to try and fight the stigma associated with mental health. To do this they started a campaign called Make a ripple. Make a Ripple is about doing something that will make people aware of mental health. For example my ripple could be my blog, and if I write about mental health then you might read it. This in turn may cause you to begin to talk about mental health. It is all about passing on the message from person to person in whatever way possible. No matter how big or how small each ripple is just as important as the other.

The See Change Youth Panel is a group of 10-15 young people aged between 18 and 25 who will advise and guide See Change in all areas of our work, get Ireland talking about mental health, reshaping people’s attitudes and creating new fun ways of reducing the stigma attached to mental health problems.
Key aims in See Change are to:

  1. Create an environment where people can be more open and positive in their attitudes and behavior towards mental health;
  2. Create greater understanding and acceptance of people with mental health problems;
  3. Create greater understanding and knowledge of mental health problems and of health services that provide support for mental health problems; and
  4. To reduce stigma associated with mental health problems and challenge discrimination.”

So do something you feel will make a ripple. One of the things I am doing in school that will make a ripple and get people talking abut mental health is holding a cake sale in school for Aware next Wednesday. So what can you do to make a ripple??

See Change Youth Panel.

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