Blog | Chapelhall Explorers address mental health
For Chapelhall Explorers, mental health was an issue close to many of their hearts, so the Unit didn’t take long to decide that this was something they wanted to address in their community for A Million Hands.
The Unit had previously been visited by local charity Chris’s House, a respite centre for people in crisis, so the Explorers were keen to work with them again for their A Million Hands project.
“We decided that mental health and suicide were issues that needed more awareness and help to those affected. Some Explorers had lost people close to them to suicide and had experienced mental health problems or knew people who had so they were keen to get more information, training and for some, help themselves.
"This age group are under so much pressure for so many reasons, so I was almost relieved they chose this topic,” said Leader Lorna.
Chris's House is the only charity of its kind in Scotland. The Unit got in touch with its founder and were invited to their premises for a tour and a chat.
Some of the Explorers then completed SafeTALK training with the charity. This training aims to help people understand more about suicide, identify people who may be thinking of suicide and equip them with the tools and knowledge to support anyone with suicidal thoughts to seek help from the appropriate places.
Since this visit, the whole Explorer Unit has now received SafeTALK training and Chapelhall Explorers have continued to make regular time in their programme for conversations around mental health.
Assistant Explorer Leader Scott explains: “This week one of our Explorers will be arranging and running a forum with the purpose of tackling exam pressure around this time of year.
“I believe it is valuable to talk about mental health and how people can be feeling on a regular basis. If we speak regularly about mental health it’ll remove the taboo from the subject. As new members join, this will be the standard routine so our Explorers will naturally adapt to talking about these different issues comfortably.”
To support Chris’s House further, the Explorers have also taken part in the Darkness into Light charity walk to raise awareness and money for mental health charities.
Lorna adds: “This project has made a massive impact on the Explorers. I know a few have already talked to people suffering from mental health problems and felt they have made a difference. Most of our Explorers are Young Leaders so can also take their knowledge to the younger age groups within Scouting.”
If you would like to choose mental health and wellbeing as a community impact project, please check find out more about A Million Hands. Our A Million Hands Partner on this topic is SAMH.