The Minding Minds Award was the brainchild of a Youth Council before our time that slowly evolved and adapted depending on who inherited the award that year. It finally came into fruition last year when we piloted it in three school clusters, adapting it for primary schools and discussing with groups of students how they think it can be improved. It is finally being rolled out in schools across the city, beginning with secondary schools!
The Minding Minds Award aims to stop people from developing mental health issues as much as it aims to help those who have already developed them. It is a questionnaire that students fill in with questions on topics such as ‘Does your school have a quiet place for people to go when they’re feeling down?’ and ‘Does your school have someone you can talk to about problems that you have?’. When the students have filled in this questionnaire, their answers are evaluated and their school is given a bronze, sliver or gold award depending on how well they have done.
When the award was finished, we went to speak to CAMHS about getting it taken to schools around York. Thanks to our member Olivia and ex-member Cat’s presentation, the award was taken up by CAMHS and piloted in three school clusters, Millthorpe, All Saints and Archbishop’s. We worked with three groups of students from Millthorpe to get feedback on the award and to simplify it to prepare it for primary schools. We grouped certain questions together, and spoke to some head teachers on the topic of the scoring system. Having completed this process, the Minding Minds Award was ready to be revealed.
The Award was approved by City Of York Council and is now being sent to every school in the city, beginning with secondary schools, improving young lives in schools across the city. Our Member of Youth Parliament is considering taking it to a national level and from there, there are countless possibilities. This is one of many examples of your Youth Council listening to you and making a real difference!