“The elephant in the room”…this was one of the key phrases used by many young people in a number of focus groups that took place in Primary Schools and Secondary Schools across Bangor during April and May 2019, as they described their own mental health. These conversations were set up on behalf of a group comprising representatives of schools, churches, community organisations, the local business sector and statutory bodies, who are increasingly concerned about the mental health of our children and young people, the negative impact of social media, the challenges of unsupervised screen time, and our need to support and care for each other when it comes to mental health.
‘Bangor Cares – healthy heads…healthy hearts…healthy community’ is a grass-roots movement that seeks to build on the excellent work already being done by many organisations across our town. It aims to focus the hearts and minds of the community on mental health issues and bring people together to educate and inform one another on various aspects of mental health and the support which is available. A programme of simple activities for children, young people and their families will initially be piloted during the week beginning Sunday 22nd September 2019 in a variety of settings across Bangor, to promote positive mental health. It is hoped these will encourage the development of relationships outside of social media and help to highlight the importance of the investment of face-to-face time in the family and wider community. If this grass-roots movement takes hold, we hope to run similar events in the months and years beyond this that will focus on the wide variety of issues surrounding mental health, and our role in caring for one another.
Ultimately, our dream is that through the Bangor Cares movement, people of all ages and backgrounds will know that they are loved by those around them in the town…that we’ll all feel able to drop our masks and share with others how we’re feeling in the highs and lows of life…that it’s ok not to be ok…and that together we’ll begin to create a culture across Bangor where people will look out for one another, care deeply for one another, and support one another in building healthy heads, healthy hearts and a healthy community for all!
Upcoming events: https://www.facebook.com/pg/BangorCares/events/