Campaigning to de-stigmatise issues around mental health and inspire those who are suffering to seek treatment

What is #I AM WHOLE?

#I AM WHOLE is a campaign created by the NHS and YMCA and led by Jordan Stephens. Its aim is to tackle stigma and encourage people to talk openly about mental health. The campaign, launching on the 10th of October 2016 (World Mental Health day), will see people across the country posting selfies with circles drawn on their hands to show support.

YMCA England have released some research about young people and mental health, read more about it here

What is stigma?

Stigma happens when people have negative beliefs, views or attitudes towards someone because they belong to a particular group.

An example of mental health stigma could be the belief that everyone who has a mental health condition is attention-seeking.

Often stigma results in people being labelled unfairly and can lead to feelings of shame, upset, anger, loneliness and distress within the group of people who are being targeted.

Stigma can be very damaging and can stop people with mental health conditions from accessing the support and help that they need.

Key Research by YMCA England

Growing up can be a positive time for many. However, there are hundreds of thousands of young people across England and Wales for whom the experience is very different. Mental health difficulties among children and young people are common and can be both persistent and damaging.
Through I AM WHOLE research, YMCA England found that more than one in three young people with mental health difficulties (38%) feel stigmatised and, of those who experience stigma, 54% say it comes from their own friends.

This year as part of #IAMWHOLE we are giving away FOUR copies of Mind Journal to young people aged 14 and over in England. Mind Journal has been created with men in mind, but we think it’s a fantastic tool for everyone and anyone! This Book Will Make Your Stronger is the new workbook from MindJournal. Building on everything that made the original journal so epic, this new tool is guaranteed to help people find new ways to tackle difficult emotions and life’s ups and downs. Using a powerful writing programme made up of three core stages and thirty writing exercises, this book is a workout for your mind.





What can I do?

1.Challenge harmful language- so young people can ask for help without fear of negative labels.

2.Get Talking and ask for support – Open up to someone you trust.


3.Post a selfie with a black circle on your left palm, with the hashtag #IAMWHOLE on your social media accounts to show support for the campaign.


4.Find and Get Help – Find services near you and get advice and help on our website.

#IAMWHOLE Campaign video

Stopping Stigma Toolkit

In September 2016 schools, colleges and youth organisations from Brighton and Hove attended a Stopping Stigma event. This event was organised by YMCA Right Here, part of a YMCA Downslink Group and in the run up to the launch of the successful, national, anti-stigma #IAMWHOLE campaign.

This toolkit is for professionals from schools, colleges and other youth settings that are interested in supporting the young people they work with to create an anti-stigma campaign. This toolkit can be used to create your own anti-stigma event, where you invite other external agencies to participate, or the materials can be used to run an event within your setting where a range of different campaigns are developed by different groups internally. This toolkit shares all the preparation, slideshows and hand-outs from our event, and tells you everything you need to know about organisation and delivering a Stopping Stigma event for schools in your area.

To purchase a copy of this toolkit please get in touch with us

Flo and the Funny Feelings by Anna Williamson

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