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March 20, 2020

Update from the team

Youth Access team

We hope everyone’s well after what has been a difficult week.

The Youth Access team have listened to the government’s guidance regarding “social distancing” and as a result our office is now closed – but we are still here for you! We are all continuing to work from home, and we are working out how to adjust our projects so we can continue to campaign for what we believe in. 

Sadly, we have had to cancel our upcoming Rights Advocate training workshops in Leeds and Liverpool, which were due to take place in March and April. We’re disappointed not to be able to share the excellent training package we’ve developed, but we have no choice given the circumstances. 

Luckily we have been able to offer an alternative to the young people who were looking forward to the training in the form of a webinar introduction to the human right to mental health – and we’re considering organising more webinars for young people who want to learn more about human rights and how to campaign for better services for all. If you or anyone you know would like to hear about future training opportunities and become part of the campaign, let us know here: http://makeourrightsreality.org.uk/be-part-of-our-minds-our-future/.  

We also want to hear your ideas about other ways we can adapt our work so that young people are supported to campaign for their mental health rights during this time, and to make sure that Our Minds Our Future’s message is still heard loud and clear. Let us know your thoughts, and any good examples of digital and remote campaigning you know of, by replying to this message – all ideas are welcome! 

We also want to reassure you that even though it isn’t possible to run in-person events like the training for the time being, this work won’t be lost! So many people have worked really hard to create an amazing training package for young people wanting to become Rights Advocates, and we fully intend to run the training when we are able to do so. 

We’ll be writing to give you more information about our new plans very soon. In the meantime, we have pulled together some resources that might be useful if you feel that your mental health and wellbeing is being affected by the current situation. 

Coronavirus and your wellbeing 

This is a disorienting time for everyone. None of us have experienced anything like it. You might be feeling anxious or worried about the virus. Being asked to self-isolate and practicing social distancing will also be an isolating experience for many people. That’s why it is really important to think about the things you can do to take care of yourself during this time.  

Our friends at YoungMindsMindStudent Minds and Childline have pulled together lots of information and advice to support you during this time. If you would like to speak to someone you can contact their helplines and 1-2-1 online chat support.  Click here to find our national help lines and online support list.  

Finally, remember that it’s important to follow medical advice to do all we can to prevent the spread of the virus. As you probably already know, most young people are not considered to be at serious risk from Covid-19, but we all have our part to play to protect the vulnerable. The Our Minds Our Future campaign was set up to fight for the right to health to be respected – and now more than ever we need to make sure we all do what we can to look out for each other and ensure that every person’s right to health is realised. 

The past few days have been tough – but they’ve also reminded us that it is only together that we can overcome our biggest challenges. That’s always been the spirit of our movement, and we’ll be sticking by it now more than ever. 

Wishing you the best physical and mental health, 

The Youth Access team 

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