Headspace is a project that was set up in 2015 as a result of recognising a growing need to support young people experiencing issues and difficulties with their mental health and/or mental well being. Using a combination of staff and volunteers we work directly with young people between the ages of 11-22 as we believe there is an opportunity to help this age group as they deal with the transition into adulthood.
Headspace is currently working in a number of secondary schools in and around the Sutton Coldfield and Walsall areas, offering one-to-one sessions with students. This space gives young people the opportunity to share and explore any thoughts or feelings, to get advice and guidance or to just be alone with their thoughts.
In addition to working in secondary schools, we also work independently with
individual students and young people, meeting in a safe neutral environment.
Headspace works via a group of volunteer Support Workers who are trained in Level 2 Mental Health Awareness or Mental Health First Aid.
A referral system is adopted which schools, parents or guardians can use or the young people can refer themselves. Referral forms can be downloaded below and should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
“I started off in secondary school as a bright, happy girl…my life was so amazing! The first day of year 7 I was so nervous, I didn’t know anyone there and thought I was going to be alone. I saw a girl, she smiled so I smiled back. Next thing you know we were talking, her name was Alice. We stayed with each other at break and lunch and as we were walking around I saw a lad from my primary school, his name was Tom, and he was a year older than me. Tom started to hang with us and he and I got really close. He asked me out and I happily said yes. The first few months were amazing and I really thought he was the one! About nine months in we started getting into arguments. One day Alice, Tom and I were together and he randomly pushed me into some lockers and held his hands around my neck. He said to Alice: “This is what lads do to girls in American films.” I thought nothing of it.
A few days passed and I was going to stay at his house. His mum and dad had gone shopping. He got some Diablo sticks (a toy) and with the rope between them starting whipping my legs. I told him he was hurting me but he laughed and carried on. Things like this carried on for a few years. I would go back home from school and go straight to my room. When my tea was ready, I’d go downstairs to get it but then go back and eat it in my room. I didn’t socialise or talk to anyone. I stopped eating and drinking because I was worried about my weight and how I looked. I started to get bullied at school…one time a group of girls came up to me and started calling me names and pushing me around. After that, I didn’t go back to that school.
It took a while, but a few months later I found a new school. On my first day I stayed by myself because I didn’t want anyone to come near me, I was too scared. After a while, two girls came to talk to me and we became close friends. Another boy joined us called Jack and we got really close. After about two months Jack told me that he loved me, and although it was difficult I said I loved him too.
I got referred to the gap* in year 10 and had a few sessions which I found helpful. I was then put with another lady who was so nice. I told her how I felt and she helped me. She did some research for me and we made a bond really quickly. I always used to sit there slumped over like I wasn’t comfortable. Then she helped me to think…about what beauty meant to me…this helped me to feel a lot better about myself. This lady that helped me has brought me along a very steep road. She helped me with my confidence and I faced my fears. I am now eating and drinking, going on stage and singing, going downstairs at home and socialising with my family, going to parties, eating in front of other people and I haven’t put one bit of weight on! Jack and I are really strong and have been together for over a year now! I can’t wait for what the future is going to bring for the both of us!
I am so glad I got referred to the gap* because without them I would be where I am today!”
Cara, aged 16.