'Just Breathe' resource created by our Youth Council

June 10, 2021

Lisburn and Castlereagh Youth Council has created a “Just Breathe” journal to support the mental health and wellbeing of young people within the Lisburn and Castlereagh area. It has already been distributed to Year 12 pupils across the council area. It will soon also be distributed into E.A youth centres in the council area for senior members aged 15-24.

An important part of our role is to ensure that young people’s voices are heard and to research and consult young people on important issues that affect them. This year (2020-2021) the youth council has been focusing on four main issues of work:

  • Environment
  • Safe places for young people
  • Mental health
  • COVID-19

Our goal as a youth council is to raise awareness and campaign on issues within the above that affect young people within our area. As part of our work this year, we have designed a well-being journal called “Just Breathe” and it has been distributed to all year 12 students in schools within Lisburn and Castlereagh areas. Feedback so far has been phenomenal.

The department of Education even ‘tweeted’ the Education Minister Weir's approval: “The Education Minister has welcomed the launch of Lisburn and Castlereagh Youth Council’s ‘Just Breathe’ journal which will support the mental health and wellbeing of young people in the area”.

Our journal was officially launched on Friday 21st May 2021 on the E.A Youth Service YouTube Channel and on all Education Authority Youth Service Socials. It can be accessed via this link: https://www.youthonline.org.uk/looking-after-yourself/lcyc-just-breathe/

This is a well-being journal made BY young people, FOR young people. We would like to distribute it further (should further funding become available) and hope to see it being used within our schools, youth centres and support organisations.

So why did we make the journal? Being young people ourselves, we have all been able to appreciate just how difficult it has been navigating our way through a global pandemic. 2020 and 2021 so far have provided many challenges for young people, their families, and communities.

We wanted to make a resource that could help support young people’s mental health and well-being and something that would  promote awareness of these issues, giving helpful tips and engaging activities to help us all SET- ACHIEVE- REFLECT (set small goals, achieve our goals and celebrate them, reflect on our journeys). 

So how do you use the journal? The 'Just Breathe' journal is a simple tool that allows you to focus on your mental health and well-being. Whether it be by setting personal goals, taking time to reflect or by keeping yourself occupied with the range of activities included. It can be used at anytime and anywhere: With 5 diverse themes of well-being as a running theme throughout, it should create an interest for all.

Our journal is unique and designed especially for young people aged 15-21. As well as useful sections for organizing and planning your week, there are helpful tips, goal setting and reflection exercises – each chapter has a specific theme but none of are tied to dates like a diary would be….meaning you can focus and work through the journal in any order you desire and at any pace.

“Give yourself the same care and attention that you give to others and watch yourself bloom.”

You can watch the online launch of our journal here at: https://www.youthonline.org.uk/looking-after-yourself/lcyc-just-breathe/