Last week, I asked Jim (17) what the bravest thing he’d ever done was and he said, “tell someone I was sad”. Nick (19) said something very similar, “to let someone know I wasn’t coping”. Boys are traditionally seen as brave, whereas girls were always considered needing protection. This gender stereotype has all but disappeared for the young generation, where mental health issues are rife and where there is little or no support. This has meant that many young people are supporting each other in various ways. They are learning to become less judgmental and better listeners. They are also becoming well versed in different issues and how to help.
Many young people are turning to yoga to help them with their mental health. This week (Childrens Mental Health Week), we see 50,000 subscribing to our daily videos on yoga and mental health in their school. These videos help students understand their emotions (in the case of primary schools as well as secondary) and form strategies for dealing effectively with them, for themselves and others. To find out more about this for your school, head over to our social media accounts.
Bravery has moved from saving the damsel in distress, to being able to cry, let go and ask for support. With too many young men committing suicide in our vicinity, we need to re-educate our boys about emotional bravery and help them form a new idea about what coping mechanisms they can use, apart from drugs, alcohol, unhealthy relationships or addiction to work or porn, the norm for many men in the past. I see a bright future for yoga in schools for young men to help them become more emotionally intelligent and literate. Let’s support this development where we can.
We are actively looking for funding to provide free, tailored classes of this kind in schools that have had their budgets cut by 30% in the past few years. If you would like to help, please go to our website, teenyogafoundation.com and donate there or pop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.