75% of mental health issues begin before people reach their mid-20s. But the sooner people get help the better they recover, so it’s really important to talk about mental health.

Misunderstanding is a short project designed to help young people (both with and without experience of mental health services) to develop the words and skills to communicate with one another about their mental health. The project will:

  • will explore our prejudices and come up with ideas on how we can help others to understand and use language more positively
  • train volunteers (young people) as learning mentors. They will work with other young people to help them become more confident about discussing mental health, explore their prejudices and come up with ideas on how we can help others to understand, support and use language more positively.

Right now, we’re looking for schools, colleges, and youth clubs who are interested in having a small team of these volunteers visit their organisations to generate debate and discussion about mental health. How we do it is up to you.

We can run short workshops, attend open days and parents evenings or set up a table during lunchtimes. We can talk to whole groups or operate drop-in surgeries, talking to whoever wants to chat.

What we think young people will enjoy the most, though, are our group sessions. We’ll show a short (3-4 minute) film and facilitate a discussion about key mental health issues through interactive activities and exercises.

For more information about the Misunderstanding project or how we can work with you, email Diane Rutherford or call on 0121 237 3604.

Misunderstanding is funded by Time for Change. You can find out more about them here - or have a watch of the video below.

As part of the project, we're creating our own activities, films, and podcasts. If you would like to listen to our podcast, click here and scroll down to 'Youthspace'. Alternatively, have a look at this video - made by young people taking part in the project - which looks at the words we use to describe people with mental health issues and the effect these have.

Misunderstanding is funded by Time to Change, England’s biggest programme to end the stigma and discrimination faced by people with mental health problems. The programme is run by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, and funded by the Department of Health and Comic Relief.