4 October 2017

On Tuesday 10 October, World Mental Health Day 2017, the NHS, YMCA and young people from around the world will come together to challenge the stigma that is stopping individuals affected by mental health difficulties speaking out and seeking help.

Johan Vilhelm Eltvik, World YMCA Secretary General, encouraged young people to get involved with the #IAMWHOLE campaign.

“Through our #IAMWHOLE campaign we are providing young people with a platform to speak out on the biggest health issue affecting them right now. Our very own One Million Voices research found that more than a third of young people are lacking the information they want and need on mental health.”

Poor mental health is costing more and more children and young people their education, their employment prospects and, without action, it is costing them their lives.

Help the NHS and YMCA make an impact in challenging the harmful language surrounding mental health.

You can prepare for World Mental Health Day in a number of ways:

  1. Sign up to the #IAMWHOLE Thunderclap campaign that will send out a single united message speaking out against mental health stigma on World Mental Health Day. (https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/62192-iamwhole-2017)
  2. On the day, Tuesday 10 October, post an #IAMWHOLE selfie (see below).
Ed Sheeran square
  1. Take part in our creative arts competition. Paint a self-portrait, write a poem, record a song or produce something creative that expresses an emotion, i.e. smiling, laughing, crying, sadness, etc.


The competition will launch on Tuesday 10 October and submissions should be received no later than Friday 20 October by either emailing iamwhole@ymca.org.uk or posting to: IAMWHOLE competition, YMCA England & Wales, 10-11 Charterhouse Square, London, EC1M 6EH. Submissions will be featured online and the winner will receive £100 (€100) vouchers. Full T&Cs can be found at www.ymca.org.uk/competitions.

How to take the #IAMWHOLE selfie

  1. Picking a thick coloured pen that you feel reflects your current feelings or state of mind.
  2. Draw the #IAMWHOLE circle on your left hand and hold it up to the camera, just like Ed Sheeran/[LOCAL CEO NAME/YOUNG PERSON. [EMBED ED SHEERAN/CEO/YOUNG PERSON PHOTO BELOW]
  3. Take a landscape photo and post it on Tuesday 10 October accompanied by some words about why you are supporting #IAMWHOLE, for example, “I’m speaking out against harmful language around mental health with the NHS/YMCA. Together, we are whole. #IAMWHOLE”