By Tikhala Chimpango
Children’s and young people’s mental health has never been so high on the public agenda like now and it is more vital than ever before that conversations about the issues affecting youths in this age are brought to the fore and dominate our everyday conversations in order to tackle this epidemic.
It is for this reason that a Manchester based organisation”Women Aspire” have organised a youth seminar on the 15th of June at St Thomas Centre in Ardwick Green, Manchester to talk about issues that are affecting our young ones in a safe, open and supportive environment. This youth seminar has been themed ‘Character Building’. The organisation believes character is so important if our young ones are to thrive in this modern age with all the challenges that they face on a daily basis be at school, home, on social media and other platforms.
A person that is considered to have good character exhibit attributes such as honesty, courage, fortitude, integrity, loyalty and other virtues which are important in promoting good behaviour and habits. Further to this, character marks who we are as a people and highly influences the choices we make in our lives from a young age into adulthood. It is for this reason that the topics for the seminar have been carefully chosen to resonate with modern day issues that our children are facing. The topics for the day will be as follows:
- Identity and self worthy
- Sex Education workshops according to age groups
A person who is struggling with their identity can feel isolated and confused which in turn can lead to the development of mental health issues if not addressed (Children’s society). Young people in particular can have a lot to face in terms of identity and their sense of self-worth as we live in a digital world that is ever changing at a rapid speed. They are also influenced by trends, media, celebrities and other things. The mental health challenges among the youth are real and staggering.
Brown et al., (2012) cautions that severe and persistent behavioral problems starting before secondary school years which go unsupported can have long term impact on children’s mental health and life opportunities. Further more, Morrison Gutman et al., (2015) argues that mental health epidemic is affecting more children and youths from low income families who are likely to experience mental health problems four times more than children from higher income families.
Women Aspire believes we all need to join forces as we help our young ones to have positive self-conceptions, high self-esteem and valued social identities visa vis inadequate identity development, threats to self-worth and identity loss among others.
The youth seminar is a follow up to the first Women Aspire youth event that took place on the 27th of October 2018 at the same venue which had 70 youths in attendance coming from Wythenshawe, Bolton, Oldham, Stockport, Bradford and many other places in Manchester. The organisation hopes to have another youth seminar in October this year. As places are limited, bookings can be made by contacting the organisers on phone numbers; 07916173947/ 07400555846.