“We need to better equip our young people with the tools they need to cope with this increasingly complex and fast-moving world we live in.”
In a bid to tackle issues around mental health, Prince Harry has called for the mental wellbeing of Millennials to be better supported at our recent Leeds Leads: Encouraging Happy Young Minds event.
Held on 6th July, the event brought together the city’s business leaders and community groups to celebrate the amazing projects supporting young people’s mental health in Leeds.
Speaking at the event, Prince Harry expressed his concern for the welfare of young people in our increasingly online world.
“I read recently that young people check their phones at least 150 times per day – I’m sure we could all be more effective and efficient if we took a moment to process our thoughts, rather than rushing from one thing to the next.”
The results of a recent poll of 14-21 year-olds echo these concerns, showing that four of the most popular social media platforms increased feelings of inadequacy and anxiety in young people. The findings from two health organisations showed that these platforms can exacerbate children’s and young people’s body image worries, and worsen bullying, sleep problems and feelings of anxiety, depression and loneliness.
Young people’s mental health is this year’s strategic focus for The Leeds Fund, an initiative launched by Leeds Community Foundation in 2016. The Fund relies on the generosity of businesses and individuals who care about their city and want to ‘give something back’, and has supported a number of amazing mental health organisations in Leeds since its launch last year.
A moving short film was screened for the first time at the event, sharing the stories of young people in Leeds who have been supported by some of the community groups who received strategic mental health grants through The Leeds Fund. Recognising the invaluable work being done by mental health organisations such as The Market Place, Leeds Mind, Space 2, Leeds Women’s Aid, Touchstone, Getaway Girls and many more, the film also served as a reminder that much more can still be done to better support more young people in the city.
During the event, Prince Harry praised both Leeds’ and LCF’s commitment to supporting this agenda.
Prince Harry commented: “I cannot tell you how pleased William, Catherine and I are that the dial seems to have shifted and that there is now greater understanding, compassion and kindness for anyone who opens up about their struggles.
“But let’s not kid ourselves that the job is done – there is much, much more that we can do at every level to make conversations about mental health as commonplace as those about physical health.”
To support The Leeds Fund and help local community groups, please visit www.theleedsfund.org.uk to donate, or send a cheque made payable to ‘The Leeds Fund’ to Leeds Community Foundation, 51a St Paul’s Street, Leeds, LS1 2TE. #GiveLoveLeeds Grants will re-open for applications later this year.