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Mental Health Animation Project: Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council

The Mental Health Animation project, spearheaded by the Rhondda Cynon Taf’s Youth Engagement and Participation Service (YEPS) Mental Health Forum, was born from the desire of young people to be able to talk openly about mental health, free from stigma and judgment. Their approach? An engaging animated film, scripted, storyboarded, and voiced entirely by the young forum members. The production aims to educate and inform peers about crucial mental health issues. From navigating gender identity and body image to coping with bullying and anxiety, the project tackles topics often deemed difficult or uncomfortable to discuss.

But the impact goes beyond entertainment. Recognising the need for accessible resources, the project also developed lesson plans for Youth Workers and school staff, ensuring the animation could be easily integrated into educational settings.

The results speak for themselves. At the YEPS Annual Celebration Event, the animation captivated young people, spreading awareness and sparking crucial conversations. Feedback from attendees
reflects this impact, with statements like, “I didn’t have a good understanding of who I could turn to, but I do now,” and, “This project has given me loads of confidence to be able to express my beliefs.”

The judges were impressed by the project’s innovative approach to addressing mental health issues, the youth-led development, and commitment to all Five Pillars of Youth Work.