Young people living in Foyers have consistently told us that mental health is one of the biggest challenges they face. Results from our Big Questions Surveys reveal that 62.2% in 2022 and 66% in 2021 of young people see this as their main concern. Based on this feedback, we have worked with our network to develop a new programme – ReRooted – which focuses on building staff capacity to work with young people experiencing mental health challenges. We are also committed to sharing the excellent initiatives happening throughout the sector to continue growing the wellbeing work happening in Foyers. 

One such initiative is the Connecting Minds programme that was created in collaboration by Bea Herbert from States of Mind and Colin Falconer from Inspire Chilli. The programme was designed to help young people understand, talk about and manage challenging emotions by supporting them with practical solutions. Reflecting on their findings from this three-year project with 10 Accredited Foyers, including 120 young people and 20 staff, Colin and Bea have identified key findings in their detailed report.

Connecting Minds

“At the heart of States of Mind is a passionate belief that non-clinical specialists can be trained to offer therapeutic support.”  Connecting Minds Report

By centering the voices and experiences of young people in its development and running, the Connecting Minds programme has Advantaged Thinking at its core. The programme introduced the Foyer community to Selfology – a proven mental wellbeing approach developed with and for young people. The purpose was to help young people and staff increase their understanding of mental health and make wellbeing more accessible. It works by opening up access to resources that increase self-awareness, agency, mutual aid and belonging.

At our recent Foyer Connect event, Bea from States of Mind shared more about Selfology and the Connecting Minds approach. It was an opportunity to share learning, best practice and for staff to go away inspired!

“Thank you for introducing me to the Selfology programme. The talk was really insightful.”

“Great to meet other Foyer people. Selfology was very enlightening!” 

Foyer Connect Attendees

Key findings from the Connecting Minds report:

  • 58% of young people said that their Selfology toolkit improved their understanding of their own well-being
  • 83% of staff reported good use of the Selfology toolkit with young people during one-on-one support sessions
  • 96% of young people agreed that participation in Connecting Minds enabled them to identify and progress their wellbeing goals, primarily through the provision of personal wellbeing budgets of around £75 each
  • 81% of the 120 young people who were involved in 10 different 'Health Action' projects believed their projects would have a positive impact on their wider Foyer community

What's next?

Download and read the full Connecting Minds report to find out more. If you’re interested in exploring a resource to help young people, you can find more information about Selfology on their website. 

If your Foyer could benefit from increased support and training to help young people with their mental health, be sure to sign up by 5th May to join our ReRooted Programme learning cohort! Through this new initiative we’re supporting Foyer staff by providing resources such as toolkits, workshops and mental health training to use with your young people. 

The Foyer Federation is registered in England and Wales under company number 2699839 at Work.Life, Core Building, 30 Brown Street, Manchester, M2 1DH. The charity is registered under charity number 1040482.
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