The Mental Wellbeing Project
The Background – The Plan – How You Can Help
The Mental Wellbeing Project is a research initiative that aims to gather and share best practices in Ireland towards young peoples mental wellbeing.
The project will be led by Derek O Kelly, mental wellbeing explorer and founder of the Winning Minds Movement. The project will be a major strand in the WMM mission to provide educational solutions towards young peoples mental wellbeing. (the movement is currently funded by our education partner the Waverley Academy)
The research will be focused on preventative and strengths based methods (mainly evidence based) as I feel this area gets the least attention; hence my use of the word mental ‘wellbeing’ as opposed to mental ‘health’. I do accept there is a big overlap in some of the methods that cure and prevent, but my focus is to collate methods that can tip the balance in favour of positive mental health and wellbeing.
To this end, the early years are vital. So in addition, I intend that parents are one of the target groups for the training and education that’s developed. I believe it’s a big part of the jigsaw we are missing. Parents are left on the wings when it comes to mental wellbeing development for their children.
After all, its been stated by many of our leaders and experts that the mental health challenges facing our young people cannot be solved by anyone person or organisation. But yet the most important part of the jigsaw for the early years is left unsupported.
It’s also been said by experts, politicians and academics that
mental health & wellbeing is a multifaceted phenomenon which needs a multifaceted approach.
And that’s why I think we need to look outside of the medical model and be more creative in our approaches. Medicine, science, psychology and psychiatry have done a brilliant job in informing us of how the mind works, and how we can work towards mental wellbeing.
So I think its time we looked at innovations that compliment the findings and recommendations of the medical and therapeutic fields.
And who knows… maybe someone will read this article and allocate some funding towards our efforts. (The Winnng Minds Movement and Mental Wellbeing Project is currently been funded by our education partners The Waverley Academy)
But till then… here is my plan and how you can help.
The Aims of MWP:
To gather and share best practice in Ireland towards young peoples mental wellbeing.
- A Publication
- A bank of information towards mental wellbeing for young people that can be accessed by all
- Training & educational interventions towards mental wellbeing for: young people, parents, teachers, educators and organisations
The process for conducting the research will be a combination of virtual collaborations, meetings, visits, desktop research and inputs from academics and experts.
I have been gradually forming a team of volunteers, supporters and advocates over the past 18 months and have been inspired by the response. I hope to move these interactions on to the next level in the coming weeks and add to the team so as the talking and thinking becomes action. Having said that, the team will be mainly virtual, and in some cases, members may just be there in spirit J. I hope that by gathering a big team, input will be minimal for those who assist (or in some cases zero). To this end I envisage five categories of inputs you can choose from:
Advisers may be able to direct or connect me with initiatives, methods or organisations and schools that are using good mental wellbeing practices. Or you may be able to advise me on any helpful ideas/connections you think may contribute to the project (any of which can be done through my social media channels or email or phone)
Researchers may be able to offer assistance with my research efforts (desktop), It wouldn’t be one of my strong points so any help would be welcome. We can discuss areas for research and I am also open to suggestions.
Contributors may supply information and content on MW good practices that they are using. Or write article/s for the final publication (I will supply more information on writing soon). Or maybe you have content that is ‘ready to go’
Contributors could include psychologists, doctors, psychiatrists, teachers, educators, academics, journalists, presenters, writers, mental wellbeing advocates, therapists, persons recovering, or recovered from mental distress.
There will also be other areas I will need assistance with as the project evolves such as editing, design (UX, creative media etc) offline/online marketing and tech/engineering assistance for innovating.
Advocates have a simple role: Please spread the word about the project or connect me with influencers, or anyone you think might be helpful
Innovators may include any persons who feel they may have an innovative solution that can be applied to the development of mental wellbeing in young people. For example, some of the innovations been explored (and developed) are in the fields of education (schools), arts, music, story telling, engineering and tech. The main idea is to look beyond the ‘medical’ model and devise methods that resonate with, or will be used by young people. It’s all about ‘meeting them where they are at’
(More to come on team members to date)
And Finally if I have missed anything above, and there is any way you think you can help, please don’t hesitate to contact me at the details below.
Promotion and Credits For Assisting
Anyone who assists will be included on ‘The Team’ page with photo and profile. This will be found on the Winning Minds website under the tab “Mental Wellbeing Project”. I will also mention your assistance on Twitter and Linkedin and will promote your efforts whenever possible. And if the publication comes to fruition, you will be included in the credits.
Thank you for reading this and I look forward to hearing from you
Derek O Kelly – Mental Wellbeing Explorer
Founder Winning Minds Movement
- Are there any creatives out there who can help me make the key information above more visually appealing eg, a flow chart or info graphic. You will probably be credited as the first contributor to the MWP
PPS if you need to talk over the phone please send me your number by private message and a good time to call you. Or alternatively, if you send me a private message on any of above I can supply my phone number.