Health / Sponsored Feature

Supporting young people with their mental health during pandemic

By bristol247, Tuesday May 26, 2020

Off the Record (OTR) is a mental health social movement by and for young people aged 11-25 in Bristol and South Gloucestershire. OTR is not just a charity providing mental health services, it is a mental health movement mobilised to support, promote and defend the mental health, rights, and social position of young people.

OTR provides information and support around wellbeing, including group work, sessions in schools and colleges and one-to-one therapeutic support.

Right now, just like everyone else, the charity has had to adapt its work throughout the coronavirus disruption, which means they are unable to be in schools or welcome young people to their sites across Bristol city centre, Old Market and Yate.

OTR’s message is clear though: it’s are still here for young people. All its services and projects remain available as online sessions, carefully and responsively designed to support young people’s mental health and wellbeing. Their sessions are running across Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, even WhatsApp – whatever young people prefer, and whatever is safest.

Lots of young people are, quite understandably, experiencing increased distress and anxiety to this difficult global situation but OTR are there to provide information, support, and guidance on how to look after our own, and each other’s, mental health.

Last week (week commencing May 18) was Mental Health Awareness Week so they shared three key messages to young people.

1. OTR will communicate openly, honestly, and transparently with you

2. OTR will support and empower you as individuals

3. OTR will create opportunities for community and connection

Although its work focuses on supporting young people, they have also put some guidance that feels applicable to everyone, of all ages, in these challenging times. OTR hopes it can help in some way.

Follow its social media accounts @otrbristol for more ideas on how to look after yourselves and your communities. We’re all in this together!

You can support OTR as its continues its vital work with young people across Bristol and South Gloucestershire. Visit or text to donate – send “OTRBRISTOL 5” to 70085 to support them with £5 donation (or £1 to £20).

Follow OTR online – and @otrbristol – for mental health tips, along with various informative and entertaining videos from the team.

OTR recently received a donation from First Base, the developers behind the new Soapworks site, through its consultation phase. Read more about it here.

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