WeCAN was funded by the Health and Social Care Alliance to enable Mental Health Foundation Scotland to work with young people that have long-term physical health conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, asthma, and spina bifida.
Did you know that people with long term health conditions are two to three times more likely to experience mental health problems than the general population? WeCAN changes that.
Over 2018-2019 we worked with a panel of creative and passionate young people to influence those who make decisions about the spaces where young people live, learn, work and play. Together, we wanted to do better for those living with conditions that mean they have to take extra care of their health and wellbeing.
The young people on the panel were encouraged and supported to become an activist for youth mental health, and had the opportunity to get involved in different activities such as:
- The Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival (SMHAF) 2019: working with creative industry professionals to make sure those with long term and chronic health conditions are represented on screen and in the audience!
- Becoming a trainer: Developing their skills to train doctors and other health professionals to better understand their condition and their needs.
- Organising events: working with our team to build experience and learn about how to plan and deliver events
- Working with the media: working with our media partners on blogs, vlogs and social media campaigns.
The WeCAN report (see below) provides a summary of the WeCAN project as well as guidance on the youth panel model used in this project, should other organisations be interested in developing a similar approach.