World Mental Health Day 2020

World Mental Health Day 2020

For World Mental Health Day 2020 (10th October) our Scotland Commissioner (Inclusion), Alan Freeburn, has written a blog about what mental health and wellbeing means, and how we can explore and support this in Scouts.

The theme for World Mental Health Day is ‘mental health for all’, and encourages us to think about mental health and wellbeing. But what does that mean?

Mental health and wellbeing is not just the absence of a mental health problem but also the ability to function, to feel good, to cope with life, to experience a range of emotions from positive to negative and to make the most of our potential.

At different points in our lives our mental health can change as we live through different experiences and circumstances, learning to manage change and uncertainty. And everyone is different. Some people may bounce back from a setback while others take longer to recover or feel held back. Our quality of life is affected by our mental health and it’s just as important as our physical health.

Mental health is everyone’s business. This year in particular has been exceptionally challenging, and many of us are struggling with our own mental health and wellbeing. It’s important for all of us to recognise the value of talking about mental health and to give young people and adults a safe place to be themselves and fulfil their potential.

We don’t need to be experts to help others. Sometimes even a kind word or a gentle enquiry will help someone along their journey. To be able to listen, share, support and talk to others are all skills for life we can use to help others and in doing so help ourselves too.

Get involved

There’s lots of programme ideas and activities that you can use in your groups to explore ideas around mental health and wellbeing and how we can support each other.

Check out the Scouts Better Mental Health for All programme ideas here. There’s loads of indoor and outdoor activity ideas to try, all of which will help young people to develop key skills that can support them throughout life.

Scouts in Paisley worked alongside other charities to create the ‘Wellbeing Pizza’ resource which is a great activity to engage young people in discussions about the five ways to wellbeing. You can check it out here.

Whether you’re 6 or 106, you can become a Wellbeing Champion and help to tear down the taboo around mental health and help boost people’s wellbeing. You can find everything you need to know here.

I hope you’ll find these resources useful and can include them in your programmes.

Take care

Taking care of our mental health and wellbeing is one of the most important things that we can do for ourselves and other people.  Remember, you're not alone.  If you’re struggling with your own mental health, check out the resources on SAMH’s website here.


Source: Mental Health Foundation and SAMH.