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Raising awareness of young people’s emotional health and wellbeing in Wokingham

06/08/15

Young people often feel that their voices aren’t heard. By understanding how young people feel about their emotional health and wellbeing we can learn what we can do to make a difference for them.

We spoke to Healthwatch Wokingham to find out more.

What was the issue?

Young people feel their voices and opinions are often overlooked. We are keen for this to change, and for young people to feel that they have a say in their health and care services.  We worked with a local school and other youth groups to ask them what their concerns were about health and well-being - surveying over 1000 young people in Wokingham Borough.

What did people tell you?

We found that at least 1 in 10 young people are carers. Those with caring responsibilities reported high rates of emotional distress, such as sleeping problems, anxiety or depression. Furthermore, many young people didn’t feel listened to, and that they feel under stress and pressure, often asking for support in being able to cope.

What happened as a result?

We created a report and short animation (shared above) highlighting our key findings and shared it with school, council, and local newspapers. As a result, the Council have re-written their Health and Wellbeing strategy in relation to young people. Furthermore, we are continuing to work with the local school and have developed a programme of further work with young people. The school has changed their PHSE lessons and students are very forthcoming to talk to us when we visit and now have a better understanding of the help and information they can access.  

What feedback did you get?

We’ve had some really positive feedback so far and have had enquiries from a number of other schools and local Healthwatch ask us about our work and we’re currently sharing a framework of how it was developed. We’re engaging with school pupils to help them further, and have future activities planned which we are really excited about. We’re amazed at the results so far and feel proud with how we’ve been able to inspire both policy makers and young people to take positive action.

Read the full report on the Healthwatch Wokingham website.

Contact your local Healthwatch if you have feedback that you would like to share.

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