Written by Leah McKendry, Assistant Leader with 1st New Farm Brownies, Guides, and 20th Kilmarnock Guides

“Myself and Helen McKendry had the opportunity to attend the Boy’s Brigade and Young Minds mental health conference for Scotland. We both felt that this was a great experience and gave us a great insight how ‘Young Minds’ work. As this was not a training event that either of us have had the opportunity to do before (whether that be through Girlguiding or work), we both found this to be a valuable course and could be beneficial to have something like this as part of our annual county training day. There were many workshop based activities which helped us to understand how to deal with causes for concerns in relation to girls we think that need help and what to do in these circumstances.

The Young Minds website and the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust website are great to look into to find out more about depression and other mental illnesses. There is also a YouTube video called Black Dog about depression that everyone at the conference seemed to like. This could be good when explaining depression to our young people as it is very easy to understand, yet very effective.

We have both said that if the opportunity was to come up again on a similar topic or to further this topic that we would love to go and that we would definitely recommend that anyone who gets the opportunity to go should do it as it was more than worthwhile.

Having thought about the resources required for Girlguiding Leaders, I am in the early stages of creating a challenge badge which will delve into these kinds of conversation topics. With discussion with my guide units I have found out that a lot of them like to watch YouTubers and they have a series called ‘Lets Talk About…’ which I am planning to base the challenge around as I feel that the girls could be more interested in something that they can relate other things to. I also feel that this may get them to bring their friends along and therefore grow guiding whilst educating our young people in areas that they may not know about such as Mental Health.”

Also look up Girlguiding’s Me In Mind resource which is packed with activities to help us talk more about mental health, as well as the new Peer Educator resource called Think Resilient.