Young Minds Matter – Supporting and Encouraging Local Young Men
350 young men from the Newry area recently learnt about the importance of maintaining good mental health and wellbeing, and how to become more resilient to stress.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Roisin Mulgrew welcomed young people to the Young Minds Matter conference and said, “From school and exams, to relationships and social media activities, young minds face many difficult decisions which can at times become overwhelming. The conference today, which marks World Mental Health Day, is about highlighting the many services and organisations available in the district area that are available to help, support and assist you all”.
The young men, aged 12 to 14 years from 13 local schools, participated in a range of workshops and sessions on masculinity and gender, cyber safety, drumming, mindfulness and yoga.
Liam McVerry, a young male volunteer with YouthAction NI, spoke from the conference and said, “The event is a great opportunity for us as young men to speak to other peers around topics such as masculinity and being male in society today. It might be the first time for many of the young men to talk about their feelings and experiences so we want to make sure that it is a positive experience and create the environment where it is ok to ask questions about growing up as a male in Newry and seek support when it is needed.”
The event was also an opportunity for both students and teachers to find out more about the services available locally to support young men.
Jacinta Linden, Chairperson of the Newry Locality Group stated, “The Young Minds Matter conference shone a light on the many services and agencies working to support positive health and wellbeing throughout the Newry, Mourne and Down area. On the day, both students and teachers had an opportunity to meet with service providers and hear from leading experts on keeping safe and keeping well. It was an absolute privilege to be part of delivering this conference. As a result of this event, we hope that the boys and teachers feel better connected and informed about support networks available but most importantly, we hope that all of the participants had fun and enjoyed the conference.”
The Children and Young People’s Strategic Partnership’s Newry Locality Planning Group is a partnership of over 16 organisations from the community, voluntary and statutory sector including Children in Northern Ireland, PIPS Newry & Mourne, SPACE, Youth Action NI, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council and Clanrye Group. Many partners joined the conference to provide local information and advice to young people in attendance.
The Children and Young People’s Strategic Partnership (CYPSP), led by the Health and Social Care Board, is a multi-agency partnership that includes the leadership of key statutory agencies and community and voluntary organisations that have a responsibility for improving the lives of children and young people in Northern Ireland.Back