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Tagged In:  Mental health

Last month, researchers from Edinburgh and Glasgow universities conducted a lifelong study of 10,000 people from across the UK who were born in November 1958. About a quarter of the participants had been in Scouts or Guides and analysis found that ex-members were 15% less likely than other adults to suffer anxiety or mood disorders at the age of 50.




Following the publication of the research, we contacted Girlguiding UK to find out more about they are supporting the mental health of young girls across the country. 
In her own words, here is what 17 year old Charlotte Forrester had to say about the impact that Girlguiding has had upon her life…

“I’m a Girlguiding member myself, having been a Brownie at the age of eight, and then following into Guides in my early teenage years and now being a Young Leader for my local unit at the age of 17. I am also a member of the Girlguiding Advocate Panel - a group of Girlguiding members aged 14 to 25 who lead the direction of Girlguiding's advocacy and research. These results therefore don’t shock me as I’ve had the opportunity to reap the benefits that Girlguiding can offer. Through the Advocate Panel, I’ve had the chance to speak to politicians and journalists as well as shape the organisation’s national campaigns. 



However, it’s the weekly meetings that have truly supported me and other girls; as my fellow Advocate member Emma Brodey said: "Girlguiding is, and for over 100 years now has been, for the girl…It offers a safe space where they can be themselves, build their confidence and escape from the ever-increasing pressures in their lives."

The researchers of the study said that their findings suggested that “programmes that help children develop skills such as self-reliance and teamwork, and encourage being active outdoors, may have lifelong benefits.” Girlguiding offers these skills in their meetings through activities and adventures, such as self-planned meetings and international trips around the world. They also recognise when more specific work needs to be done, hence the introduction by Girlguiding’s Peer Education (trained young members who deliver interactive sessions to units on essential topics) Think Resilient resource which aims to help girls increase their awareness and learn techniques that can help them grow their own resilience. This was created as a result of the 2015 Girls’ Attitudes Survey which showed that 62% of girls aged 11 to 21 know a girl their age who has experienced a mental health problem.

Through Girlguiding, I and the other girls around me have been given the chance to develop the skills required in order to combat problems surrounding mental health and emotional wellbeing. We’ve been grateful for the opportunities and are sure that Girlguiding will continue supporting girls and young women for many years to come.”
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