Anonymity. Positive mental health. Empowerment
A not for profit peer mentor scheme that promotes positive mental health through expression, empowers and gives children a voice whilst retaining their anonymity.
Soapbox postcards is a Brighton and Hove based peer mentor scheme that aims to encourage positive mental health in children locally. Based on the concept created by Frank Warren - "Half a million secrets", postcards are given to young people in schools, youth clubs and community groups with the question
“What is it like being a young person today?”
Young people design their postcard, write their response to the question on the back and post it back to us anonymously.
Voiceless to Vocal
Children and young people experiencing difficulties with their mental health often find it hard to express their emotions face to face especially with professionals. Relationships take time to build, trust needs to be gained and in today's world an abundance of time and resources are not always available.
Will I look stupid?
It doesn’t really matter that much does it?
What will people think?
Maybe I should just keep quiet?
Soapbox postcards aim to give children a platform to voice their concerns without the fear of being labelled, singled out or stigmatised for speaking out openly.
Soapbox postcards allow's children and young people to voice their thoughts and opinions on their mental health anonymously, whilst seeing the psychological benefit of posting their concerns out to a safe space. By documenting their concerns, fears and worries and sending them out into the 'ether' children feel a sense of catharsis, a pressure or weight lifted from their shoulders and almost immediately feel the benefit of releasing their thoughts onto paper.
The benefits of documenting your thoughts and fears are similar to that of journalling. For young people struggling with anxiety, depression and stress, writing their feelings down on paper alone can help them gain control of their emotions, leading to improved mental health.
Once the young person has posted their card to us, we tailor the support available based on the information we receive via themes. This approach ensures the young person is not singled out as having a problem or an issue and if they wish to gain confidential one to one support they are able to in our peer mentors. Mentors have often been through similar experiences and offer coping mechanisms, ongoing advice and guidance as well as remote support when required.
Once we receive the children's postcards, we use the themes and trends from postcard topics to compile tools and workshops based on the need. If a child wishes to refer to our scheme directly, we accept referrals on our website and depending on the level of support needed, pair those in need up with carefully selected and trained peer mentors for ongoing support.
Working in this way allows the support we offer to be responsive. Key themes often vary throughout schools or community groups and so is the support offered. Some of the key themes commonly highlighted are:
Depression, bullying, self-esteem, body image, building positive relationships, sexuality and anxiety. For referrals that require professional help, we regularly signpost and refer on to specialist provisions for appropriate support locally.
Get in touch with Soapbox Postcards to learn more about our work and how you or your school can get involved. If you are a child and would like to submit a referral for our peer mentor scheme then please get in touch.