YHP SWEDEN – See the Whole of Me
The local context
In Sweden there has been a decline in mental health in young people. The challenge is to make information about mental health development, mental health conditions and the possible solutions easily accessible and understandable to young people and to those who support them.
To improve the mental health and emotional well-being of vulnerable adolescents across Sweden - and to be part of the discussion on mental health within Swedish society, whilst providing opportunities for AstraZeneca staff to provide volunteer support.
Mental health development, conditions, and solutions.
We analysed anonymised chat and email from 1,350 young people to the BRIS child helpline to understand their perspective on mental ill health. Specifically this identified what they believed about its causes, symptoms and gender aspects, and what interventions they felt would best help them. The survey findings were published and circulated to professionals working on mental ill health with children and teenagers.
A series of five short films based on the research findings was produced for use by young people, their parents, and professionals working with them. The films use an accessible popular-science approach and cover how the brain works, the importance of sleep, relationships with friends and family, risk-taking and reward, and managing emotions.
The programme has also included mentoring of young people and support for teenagers and their families.
The Mind Your Teens films were presented at the Vetenskapsfestivalen (Science Festival) in Gothenburg and have reached almost 1.1 million young people in Sweden. The films are available to the general public on YouTube.
We have directly provided information on mental health and emotional wellbeing to 7,000 frontline health providers, including community nurses and social workers. We have also reached 29,500 stakeholders, including local government, parents, teachers and healthcare workers with information about adolescent mental health and wellbeing.
Over 29,000 children have received support by phone, email and chat, and 60 children and their parents have attended residential courses.
Around 1,300 AstraZeneca staff in Sweden have volunteered with the mentoring programme, supporting 1,300 young people.
During 2018 we aim to reach a further 300,000 young people.
When Cecilia, who works at AstraZeneca and volunteered on the programme and Evin, who was just starting high school, started their mentor-year together both were moving outside their comfort zones.
Evin wasn’t keen on using public transport and ‘was simply too insecure to go anywhere’, and Cecilia - a process engineer at AstraZeneca – had never done anything like this before.
They usually met close to Evin’s home in Vårby but as they got to know each other they could travel further and further.
‘Cecilia has helped me to find my way. Not only when it comes to which high school programmes I should choose or what summer jobs I should apply for, but she has also encouraged me to try new things’, says Evin.
‘Evin has become more courageous, both in terms of things she gets involved in and the things she dares to discuss and tell me. Now she can travel in the subway and she says what she thinks and wants’, says Cecilia, ‘I have learned a lot from Evin. I honestly wasn’t prepared for that at all.’
The mentor-year is over, but Cecilia and Evin still meet.
Read more on www.mentor.se