Young people support others to talk loss

To support conversations around grief, bereavement and loss with children and young people, South Lanarkshire’s Inclusion as Prevention (IAP) project is sharing a collection of animations produced by the Springhall and Whitlawburn Youth Development Team (SWYDT).

Five animations focus on local grief and loss services: GoTo, Young Minds, Regen:fx Youth Trust, Give us a break! and The GIVIT. They are all different – some share an individual’s story, others look at what resources are available, but each one is ultimately aimed at helping children and young people cope with grief, loss and bereavement.

GoTo, a mental health support service for young people aged 14-18 in South Lanarkshire, supported by Regen:fx Youth Trust

Young Minds, the UK’s leading charity fighting for children and young people’s mental health:

Kiera Irvine, IAP Engagement Coordinator, said:

“With some of the SWYDT group having already experienced loss, they were keen to share their thoughts and experiences to help others going through this. They felt adults didn’t always take their grief seriously, and were discouraged from talking about it – as grief is still seen by many as a taboo subject.

“The young people wanted to challenge this, and help children and young people to understand that there’s no ‘right or wrong’ way to grieve. Everyone experiences grief differently – and it’s absolutely OK to use humour!

“The group also felt that although there are already so many great services available to them, young people don’t always know about these as they tend to be marketed towards staff such as teachers and youth workers. Although this has its benefits and is great for some young people to find out about supports in this way, the group felt that there are also a lot of young people who may not always show signs of suffering and/or who would rather help themselves. Therefore, the group decided that they would like to support organisations to market their work to young people from the voice of young people.

“The group agreed that producing animations would be a good way of sharing these messages, in an accessible, relatable and colourful way.  They did all the hard work from the start, making a list of services to approach, coming up with the right questions to ensure they had a thorough understanding of what is involved in each service, and then writing the scripts, drawing some of the storyboards and even recording their own voiceovers.

“These young people have done an incredible job and we are so excited to be sharing their work with the world.”

Graphic artist Sarah Ahmad – aka The Floating Designer – was chosen by the young people as being the best fit for their project and was commissioned to produce the final animations, using the storyboards and ideas provided by the SWYDT team.

The animations will be launched as they are ready (on an individual basis) and shared widely across organisations, workplaces, education and community settings, and more.

Please share these animations with the children and young people you work with. If posting on social media, we’d be grateful if you could include #LetsTalkLoss

Give us a break! A partnership between South Lanarkshire Psychological Services, Macmillan Cancer Support and NHS Lanarkshire:

Regen:FX: Offering a Pick ‘n’ Mix approach to activities for young people in South Lanarkshire