YoungMinds Activists

YoungMinds Activists campaign with us for change in youth mental health.

Activists launch campaigns in their local areas and support YoungMinds’ national campaigns to raise awareness of mental health, and improve the experience of young people with mental health problems. You’ll be encouraged to campaign about subjects that matter to you, using your unique skills and experience in a collaborative and supportive environment.

In addition to campaigning with us, each Activist also chooses to specialise as a Youth Presenter or Media Champion.

  • Youth Presenters speak about their experience of mental health at events, workshops or conferences
  • Media Champions are a voice for young people’s mental health experiences on radio and TV programmes and in newspapers

Training

Once recruited as an Activist you will be asked to attend two days of training to learn about campaigning on a national and community level. We will then invite you to our regular training sessions together with other YoungMinds Activists.

We run training days two times a year – when each group of new YoungMinds Activists joins us. There are a range of YoungMinds Activist roles and each one has its own training session to equip you with the skills and knowledge you'll require. Each year you will have a chance to build your skills and responsibilities, sign up for extra training and meet other new and experienced YoungMinds Activists.

Our next training will be on the 16th and 17th of February in London. Please only apply if you can attend training at this time. If you cannot make these dates, send us an email at youth.engagement@youngminds.org.uk and we’ll get in touch when the next round of recruitment is going to take place!

Activities

As a YoungMinds Activist there are plenty of inspiring activities you can do, these includes:

  • Attend a two-day campaigning workshop with specialist training in media, facilitation or presenting
  • Campaign to improve the lives of young people with experience of mental health problems across the UK
  • Receive information about opportunities relevant to you (e.g. media, presenting and/or facilitating) and reply by a deadline with your interest
  • Participate in a prep session for any opportunities you undertake with one of our team who will help you decide if an opportunity is right for you (includes discussing what you do and do not want to talk to about, and preparing your key messages for interview)
  • Check in with the YoungMinds team after each opportunity to give feedback about the experience and how you are feeling
  • Participate in reviews of your experience as an Activist so we can ensure your volunteering is as rewarding as possible for you
  • Attend Activist meet-ups and workshops across the country
  • Contribute to the Activist Facebook group discussions
  • Contribute to digital surveys and other digital activities to inform YoungMinds’ campaigns and policy, local mental health policy and national mental health policy 

Why become a youngminds activist?

As a YoungMinds Activist, you will:

  • Develop and build campaigning skills (e.g. project planning)
  • Develop specialist skills relating to media, facilitating and/or presenting
  • Meet new people (both professionals and young people)
  • Lead the way in helping to create positive attitudes and change around youth mental health
  • Share your story and help to give other young people the courage to talk about mental health openly
  • Inspire young people who are struggling with their mental health to look for support

We want our YoungMinds Activists to have the best possible experience of volunteering with YoungMinds. Our work is all about mental health and being part of this can sometimes bring up your own issues. We will chat with you regularly about what support you might need and which volunteering opportunities are right for you. If we notice you seem upset or something you say worries us, we will address our concerns and offer our support.

Expenses: This is a voluntary role. Whenever you volunteer with us, you will receive refreshments and travel costs. You will find out more about this during your induction.

Who can become a YoungMinds Activist?

Young people aged 14-25 who are passionate about young people’s mental health, and have experience related to mental health they want to share to help campaign for change.

We are currently recruiting Activists for our London hub so you also need to be in travelling distance of central London (this usually means a journey of 90 minutes or less).

YoungMinds Activists are young people from a variety of backgrounds with different experiences. They comprise young people from a wide range of cultures, ethnicities, sexualities and religions, and include those have experienced being in care or caring for a family member. Many Activists have experience of mental illness and we work with them to find the best ways to support their volunteering. 

Everybody's welcome and the mixture is what makes our Activist network interesting and exciting!

We are especially interested in applications from young men, as we know young men face particular challenges in speaking out about mental health - we’d love to help change that.

How to become a YoungMinds activist

  • We ‘recruit’ - the official word for ‘take on' – new YoungMinds Activists four times a year (we are currently recruiting and you can find details below)
  • We recruit in a different region each time and ask that you apply for a region you live in or close to (a journey of 90 minutes or less) so that you are able to take up volunteering opportunities easily
  • We recruit for different roles each time and provide an overview of the open positions

We would like our YoungMinds Activists to stay active for a minimum of 12 months – however, lots of YoungMinds Activists are involved for much longer. After 12 months, Activists are no longer referred to as specialists and instead, have the opportunity to join the wider Activist Network.

Current YoungMinds Activist Opportunities

We are not currently recruiting for Activists, but if you’d like to find out when the next round of recruitment starts please email youth.engagement@youngminds.org.uk with your name, and where in the country you’re based. We look forward to hearing from you.