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Pooky's story

Pooky Knightsmith is an adolescent mental health consultant who visited Cornwall last week to work with Headtstart Kernow, looking at how they can use videos that young people in Cornwall have made, relating to young people and their mental health.

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Pooky said: “The videos are fantastic and I’d really like to help them reach further across Cornwall and nationally as well. What I’m helping them to do is to build up some lesson plans around them so they can be used in schools across the country.

 “Young people have told us they want their voices heard, they want people to stop and listen to them. They also want people to realise that mental health is something that affects all of us, it affects boys as well as girls, even the ‘cool kids’.

“They are telling us they want some practical ideas on what they can do to support themselves and also, where young people have had good experiences and good support, they want to be able to share it with others.”

Pooky has had her own share of mental health issues, having battled with anorexia in childhood and adult hood. This has inspired her to regularly blog on her own experiences to try and help people going through similar things.

“When I was growing up the teachers seemed to do their best but really didn’t know how to deal with what I was going through. I feel now that government are sitting up and listening, taking steps to put in a bit more funding but also getting better at hearing children and young people’s voices”

“Some of the youth engagement work happening here in Cornwall is really innovative. We are genuinely listening to what young people have to say, it’s really important to hear what young people have to say about mental health, and to make sure we listen and act upon what they tell us as often this can be tokenistic.”

You can watch for yourself the videos that the young people have made on the Youth in Mind website.

You can also read more about Pooky and the work she is doing on her website.