Heads Up! toolkit
Belfast Youth Forum, along with the Northern Ireland Youth Forum and the NICCY Youth Panel, have produced a mental health advocacy toolkit for young people.
The Heads Up! toolkit is designed to help young people organise a mental health campaign project in their community and support them to campaign on local mental health issues.
It aims to encourage young people to:
- have their voice heard on mental health support and services,
- communicate what needs to change,
- promote and highlight good mental health in the community, and
- prioritise looking after their own health - mental, emotional and physical.
To download a copy of the toolkit, visit Northern Ireland Youth Forum's website (link opens in new window).
Young people make up a third of the population of Belfast, making our city one of the youngest in Europe.
As Belfast is home to so many young people, we thought it was time they had a say in how our city is run and show that they’re listened to by adults.
If you’re a young person, we’ve set up the Belfast Youth Forum to help make this happen.
Who’s in the Belfast Youth Forum?
The forum is made up of 40 young people from communities across Belfast.
All of our members are aged between 13-18 (21 if you are disabled or have just left care) and are a forum member for two years.
The Belfast Youth Forum 2018 - 2020 are focusing on these campaigns:
- Mental Health
- Relationship and sexuality education
- Racism and diversity
Read more about our projects and follow us on Twitter @Belfast_YF for updates. #BelfastYouthForum
What Belfast Youth Forum are working on
The Belfast Youth Forum are currently working on a number of campaigns and projects including:
- ‘Any Use?’ research report focusing on young people’s opinions on Relationship and Sexuality Education (RSE) in Belfast. Our Belfast Youth Forum created the report in partnership with Common Youth and Centre for Children’s Rights QUB.
- 'Elephant in the Room' research report on children and young people and mental health. This is part of a regional youth-led mental health campaign, organised by young people from Belfast Youth Forum and NI Youth Forum.
- Poverty: It’s not a choice research report on raising awareness about Poverty in Belfast.
- a research project which will look at Black and Minority Ethnic young people’s experiences of living in Belfast. The Youth Forum are working with youth worker Neil Symington and Dr Byrne from Ulster University.
The Youth Forum have also completed projects including:
- a podcast with young people from Overton High School in Nashville. Belfast is a Sister City of Nashville (USA).
- the ‘Push it Home’ campaign to raise awareness of the levels of ‘hidden homelessness’ in Belfast
- The Youth hub - a pilot project to test shared youth spaces across the city centre.
- an intergenerational project with the Seniors Forum to raise awareness of poverty in Belfast.
- the #LiveLouder battle of the bands competition and concert in partnership with the Oh Yeah Music centre. We gave the winners of this competition a £1000 bursary.
- the Digi Dragons Den app competition to help young people look after their mental health, and the environment. We gave the two winners of this competition a £1000 bursary each.
Members of the Belfast Youth Forum (BYF) meet with Elected Members from the People and Communities Committee (link opens in new window) three times a year. These meeting gives BYF members an opportunity to update Elected Members on their current pieces of work and the progress of their current campaign areas.
If you would like more information on the youth forum campaigns and projects, email us or call 028 9032 0202.
The United Nations Convention on the rights of the Child (UNCRC) is a list of rights created to protect all children and young people and make sure they have everything they need to live a happy and healthy life.
The work of the Belfast Youth Forum is guided by the UNCRC, in particular:
- Article 2 - Children and young people should not be discriminated against
- Article 3 - The best interests of children and young people should be a top priority in all decisions concerning them
- Article 12 - Every child and young person has the right to say what they think in matters affecting them and to have their views listened to and taken seriously.
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Belfast City Council,
City Hall Belfast,