Oct 11, 2019

30 young people, representing a range of different youth groups across the town came together to talk on world mental health day (10th October 2019).

They talked about  the current mental health and emotional wellbeing support available to all young people, in their schools and across the town. The aim of the meeting was to start to co create materials for young people with young people that promote local awareness about the emotional wellbeing and mental health support available in our schools and within the community.

Hosted by the Hastings Opportunity Area,  In2play CIC, My Trust HOA Young ambassadors, Hastings Youth Council , Freedom Leisure and Optivo teamed up to support young people from across the town to come together for the first time at the Hastings Adventure playground.

The aim of the meeting was to support our local young people to help Hastings Opportunity Area create materials that promote local awareness about mental health and emotional wellbeing support available in schools and the community. The Hastings Opportunity Area aims to ensure Hastings and St Leonards young people have someone to talk.

The youth steering group plan to meet again to continue work to co design promotional information for other young people encourage them to speak out and seek support or help if they or someone they know needs support. We are very pleased to have a strong group of united young people from across the town now helping us lead on this

The group discussed campaigns such as Brighton born #IAMWHOLE and ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent campaign that will use silence slots to encourage those at home to talk to one other. The group engaged in a quiz which highlighted that in 2017/ 2018 the main concerns for 12- 15 year olds phoning child line were mental health/ emotional health.

Hastings Opportunity Area is providing support to all Hastings and St Leonards schools , so that they can review how well their school is promoting their pupils mental health and emotional wellbeing and develop plans for how they can improve this. These schools are being  offered free training and support to enable staff to develop their skills, confidence and own resilience so that they can in turn support children and young people.

The Hastings Opportunity Area has also funded a team of key workers to offer support to pupils aged 9 – 14 years with emerging mental health needs .  I- rock ,a ‘one stop shop’ offering timely support for 14- 25 year olds has been funded to extend its opening hours from 3 to 5 days per week since November 2018 and  funding to support the Open for Parents team who are offering a range of support to parents across the majority of our local primary and senior schools.

If you are a local young person or youth organisation that who would like to join the group or if would like to complete our questionnaire or give us your views, please email

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