e-wellbeing youth ambassadors: young people supporting their peers

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YMCA DownsLink Group’s e-wellbeing website, is an NHS approved digital wellbeing service and platform for young people. e-wellbeing provides tips, advice and support during lockdown and beyond, so young people can access the right tools for their emotional health and mental wellbeing. For more information, go to: www.e-wellbeing.co.uk.

“I went to e-wellbeing for advice on going back into school because I felt anxious and confused about my exams. They helped me with tips on how to get ready and where to get the support to help me feel calm.” – Nathaniel, 13

The e-wellbeing Ambassadors Programme is for young people aged 16-25 who are representatives of the YMCA e-wellbeing team. They are the voices and drive behind e-wellbeing, and participate in creating new content, projects, and events that promote wellbeing and mental health.

Below two e-wellbeing ambassadors, Annabel and Florence, share their stories of why they decided to join the project.

Annabel, 16

Annabel receives counselling from YMCA Dialogue and volunteers for the charity as an e-wellbeing Ambassador.

“I receive counselling from the YMCA and it has really helped me as a person. In a general sense it’s helped me to justify and clarify my emotions whether it’s to make them feel more relevant or make me feel as an individual and not as generalised.”

Why do you volunteer for YMCA DownsLink Group as an e-wellbeing ambassador?
“I became an e-wellbeing ambassador because I have always wanted to work with other young people and help them help themselves. I’ve always wanted to destigmatise mental health and to make it become a more approachable subject in everyday conversation.”

What advice would you give to other young people?
“Try and identify people or things that make you happy. The positive atmosphere that you can surround yourself in, whether that’s at a time of need or when you’re just having a bit of a low time. Everyone is juggling at the moment and please just try and look out for your peers, parents and anyone that you love. However, despite looking out for people please make sure you’re getting the support you need and don’t go through things alone.”

“It’s actually a strength to be able to manage your emotions whether its anxiety or stress. Your mental health will be with you throughout your lifetime whether its more prevalent now or further on so now is a good time to be able to start managing it and find solutions to help you as an individual.” – Annabel

Florence, 20

As a teenager Florence received therapy from YMCA Dialogue and today, she proudly volunteers for the charity as an e-wellbeing Ambassador.

“When I was 14, I was feeling vulnerable, stressed and different from everyone else. I just wanted to fit in. I had CBT with the YMCA and it was very useful. It helped me realise why I was behaving the way I was. It involved looking at the brain and the problems I was experiencing, so I wrote a lot of them down and I found ways to combat those feelings I was having. At the end of the treatment, I remember how different I felt and how much more comfortable than I was as it helped me overcome the negative thoughts in my mind and find ways to move forward.”

Today, Florence is a Psychology student at university and volunteers for YMCA DownLink Group as an e-wellbeing ambassador. Florence regularly participates in campaigns to raise awareness of youth mental health, provides feedback on the running of our wellbeing service to ensure young people receive the right support they need, and has recently co-hosted e-wellbeing’s podcast discussing the impact of social media on young people’s mental and emotional wellbeing.

Why do you volunteer for YMCA DownsLink Group as an e-wellbeing ambassador?
“Being an e-wellbeing ambassador allows me to engage with and give back to my local community. I have done so much already with e-wellbeing and want to continue supporting the mental health of young people just like the charity did for me when I was a teenager.”

“My advice is to talk to someone you trust – have the courage to actually find some treatment or some help that will help you because I don’t think anyone can do this by themselves. Be brave and get the help you need as early as possible. The support I received from the YMCA really helped me, so I highly recommend getting the help you need.” – Florence

If it wasn’t for amazing young people like Nathaniel, Florence and Annabel, opening up about their personal experiences to help champion youth mental health awareness, and give back to our charity, YMCA DownsLink Group would not be able to provide the essential youth services we do today.

If you would like to become the voice of e-wellbeing and help other young people in your local area, join the e-wellbeing ambassador group, fill out this form to register your interest.

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