We’ve seen a diverse programme of events as part of Bournemouth University’s celebration of World Mental Health Day recently.  And one of the highlights has to be the release of the #LifeUnfiltered video on World Mental Health Day itself, 10th October.

The film is the culmination of a six-month project that saw collaboration between the university’s Equality and Diversity faculty with some of Dorset’s leading mental health organisations

But what really makes this video stand out is the fact that it’s made FOR young people BY young people

Mental health is something we all have, whether good or bad.  And this group of young people wanted to make talking about mental health perceived as normal as talking about physical health for their parents, teachers and peers.

Young people obviously have a first-hand understanding of the challenges that face children, teenagers and young adults living Dorset.  They also face very different mental health challenges to adults.  To capture this fact, the co-developers decided to pass the direction of the project completely to the participants.

One young person who took part, Siobhan, described why she took part in the project “For me, working on this film was a way to not only get to know new people and gain confidence, but a way to make sure fewer people end up so mentally unwell that they end up in psychiatric hospitals.  I want young people to be able to reach out and get the help they need before things in their lives deteriorate even more.”

And this was the groups’ focused intention from the start – they wanted to not only raise mental health awareness, but also suggest to young people what little things could improve their mental health and wellbeing.

The young participants were involved in every step of the process – from the initial workshops, through to interviewing film companies and shooting the film itself… and this was sometimes a challenge.

Dr James Palfreman-Kay said, “Reflecting back on this project, it has been really encouraging to see how far this group of young people has come. I was particularly impressed about the way in which they have bonded during the process through their determination to help others going through mental health problems.  They’ve grown so much in confidence – which was fully demonstrated at the launch.

Since the unveiling of the video on World Mental Health Day, in the presence of the Mayors of Bournemouth and Poole, the film has been viewed over 11,200* times on YouTube alone.  The young people hope that as many people in the county and further afield will see this important video and be inspired by it.

You can help by watching #LifeUnfiltered and sharing it via social media, or in schools and colleges. 

Please quote the hashtag: #LifeUnfiltered when sharing.