Lost Luggage is a registered charity consisting of young people aged 12-21 years who have experienced mental health difficulties, and have engaged with Lincolnshire Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services ( CAMHS) within the past 3 years. A range of CAMHS staff members are also part of the Lost Luggage Team.
WHAT WE DO:
We all meet together once a month to plan projects and discuss new ways to achieve our goals. These are:
- To provide feedback to CAMHS in order to improve mental health services. After all, it is only right that young people who have been involved in the service have a key role in how it is run.
- To raise awareness amongst the general public about mental health, in the hope that this will reduce stigma*
- Though we do not discuss our emotional and mental health in meetings, many young people who attend Lost Luggage groups find group support helpful.
* Stigma refers to the way that individuals can be "labelled" as being different. Stigma is harmful to young people with mental health difficulties as it can make it difficult for young people to talk openly about their experiences, through fear of bullying or being judged.
We develop and deliver training workshops for any organisations who want to learn more about young people's experiences and mental health issues. We have already delivered training to nursing students, GP's and social work students.
In the future we hope to be more involved in interviewing people who apply for a job in CAMHS. For services to have the best staff, it is important they have the qualities and skills that young people see as important.
REDUCING STIGMA AROUND MENTAL HEALTH:
We aim to reduce stigma by engaging with the local community and raising awareness of the Lost Luggage group through fundraising events. Raising our profile may encourage young people to talk about, and seek early help with their difficulties. It could also challenge unhelpful stereotypes about mental health. Some projects we have been involved in so far include:
- Presenting to University Students.
- Developing and designing leaflets.
- Information stalls and fundraising.
- Taking part in radio broadcasts.
- Presenting at professional/public events meetings.
As a registered charity, we are always looking for opportunities to raise money for the group. The money goes towards promoting Lost Luggage, as well as making sure it can continue and grow. It also goes towards fun days so the group members are rewarded for all their hard work!