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Mental health campaign shortlisted for national award

A campaign run by Malvern Hills District Council to raise awareness of self-harm and mental health issues amongst young people has been nominated for a national award.

The SELFie Where’s the HARM project has been nominated for ‘Campaign of the Year’ in the annual Local Government Chronicle (LGC) awards.

Malvern Hills Community Safety Partnership (CSP) funded a specially devised theatre production – also entitled SELFie where’s the HARM? -  which was performed across five high schools in Worcestershire to over 1,355 young people between the ages 11 to 15.

The council will now present the campaign to a panel of judges before finding out if they have won the award at a ceremony in March 2017.

The play was developed by CMP Consult, a specialist project management company for the education sector, and focuses on the consequences and impact of self-harm. It deals with the perception of mental health, people’s attitude towards it and the pressures and influences of the internet and social media.

Malvern Hills CSP backed the campaign as mental health is increasingly being seen as a priority issue both locally and nationally.

Malvern Hills District Council, which is part of the CSP, has committed to raising awareness of issues relating to self-harm amongst at least 500 young people over the next five years, as part of its new strategy.

Research shows most mental ill health starts by the age of ten, which is why in Worcestershire there is an increased emphasis on building resilience and well-being amongst children and young people.

In Worcestershire 70,000 adults and 7,000 children are living with mental ill health at any one time.

The legacy will live on through the performance DVD which will be provided by MHDC for all Malvern schools, community youth groups and relevant professionals to use for education purposes.

Cllr Bronwen Behan, portfolio holder with responsibility for community safety on Malvern Hills District Council, said: “We are delighted we have been shortlisted for this award and recognised by the LGC awards for this campaign. Mental health issues shouldn’t be something people hide away or are scared to talk about. It is as important as physical health and projects like this will help challenge perceptions and remove the stigma attached to mental health.”

Visit www.ylyc.worcestershire.gov.uk/information-and-advice/health-and-wellbeing/mental-health-support/ for more information on support available to deal with issues around mental ill health.