Zoe Cassell | Contributing Writer | Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Girl Guides Are Tackling Mental Health With New \'Think Resilient\' Badge

Girl Guides Are Tackling Mental Health With New 'Think Resilient' Badge

The Debrief: A new Girl Guide badge aims to get young women talking about social taboos, like depression and eating disorders

Girl Guides across the country will be swapping the stereotypical housekeeping and extreme knot-tying training in favour of a new badge, which aims to tackle mental health issues among young women. 

The ‘Think Resilient’ badge, developed with Young Minds charity, aims to target real life issues like depression and eating disorders. It wants to encourage young girls to talk about their mental health, rather than bottling it up. And it’s about bloody time someone tackled these taboos amongst young women. 

According to research carried out by Girlguiding UK, over 60 percent of girls between 11 and 21 know a girl their age who has had a mental health problem. The top concern for girls in this age bracket: self-harming. 

Zoe Dowler, 24, is a Girl Guide Peer Educator who helped develop the 'Think Resilient' programme. She has said that she hopes the new badge would help develop practical solutions for the girls to tackle issues and create 'a safe pace to share what’s on their mind.' She added, 'I know low mental well-being is a major issue affecting the daily lives and ambitions of lots of young women my age.'

The new badge comes following demand from Guides themselves, who want to challenge the stigma surrounding mental health.

In order to gain the badge, Guides will need to complete a course in positive thinking, as well as responding to imaginary agony aunt letters. It hopes breaking down problems into small steps will encourage the girls to communicate with their own friends about any problems they might be having. 

The first session will be led by a Peer Educator, which is basically a trained mentor aged 14 – 26. As mentors, they’ll use their own life experiences to help to get the Guides talking about issues that are on their mind.  Guides, we salute you (three fingers and all that). 

 

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Follow Zoe Cassell on Twitter @zocassell

Tags: Mental health, Education