Youth Stress Centre

Mental Health in North Glasgow

The Group
The HOPING (Helping Our Peers in North Glasgow) project is a team of young people. The group consisted of 12 young people who were recruited through schools, colleagues and youth organisations.  The idea came from health promotion officers and the staff of North Glasgow Youth Stress Centre who had held focus groups with young people on this topic.

What were they trying to achieve?
The aim of the research was to find out what young people thought about mental health in North Glasgow.

How did they go about it?
The group designed a questionnaire and took it to schools and youth clubs.  These were completed by young people, along with scales measures for stress, depression and optimism.  The results were presented in a report.

What did they learn?
Relationships with friends are very important in a young person's life as they can talk to friends more easily than family.  Alcohol was seen as something to make young people happy and give them something to do, but also as something that leads to violence.  Racism is also a concern, and a lack of understanding of asylum seekers and refugees.  Bullying was identified as an issue in the focus groups but not in the quesionnaires, and requires further investigation.  As measured on the scales, levels of stress were higher than average.  There was a negative view of the term 'mental health', which was associated with terms like 'psycho'.  It was easier for young people to identify negatives than positive aspects of their life.

What difference did it make?
The findings were presented to local stakeholders including North Glasgow Health Promotion.  The young people were asked to be involved in several other presentations and to offer peer education workshops.  Money was provided from Health Promotion and North Glasgow Stakeholders group to train the peer researchers in Emotional Literacy to enable them to deliver workshops to Youth Health Services in the area.  There is a core group of five young people who are continuing the role of Peer Educators and are exploring further funding opportunities to enable them to recruit and train their peers in research so as to explore some of the findings in more detail.  A small fund has been obtained to retain the current researchers and to begin recruitment of peers to look at the racism and bullying aspect of the research findings.  In addition to this the project has raised a lot of interest from other organisations.

Youth Stress Centre North Glasgow
Tel:  0141 552 3693