Marsh Award for Mental Health Peer Support: Young People

These Awards are run in partnership with Mind and wider Peerfest partners and recognise excellence in peer led support for those experiencing mental health problems.

Peer support happens when people work together, or support each other, from their lived experience. It can take place informally and formally, in all sorts of settings such as in user led organisations, projects, support groups and in the workplace. It means different things to different people. It may also be called self help, befriending/wellbeing groups, meet ups, or mentoring. It also can take place online through digital means.

This Award recognises peer support groups run by people under the age of 25.

Nominations for the Award are judged by an independent panel of people with peer support expertise, others with lived experience, and representatives from Peerfest partner organisations.

Championing Youth Minds and Da'aro Youth Project 2022

Championing Youth Minds (Star Project) 

Championing Youth Minds is led by young people with a passion for promoting mental wellbeing, using their own experiences of mental health struggles to help others going through similar situations. The group is made up of people from diverse backgrounds, all with different experiences of mental health as a result of their upbringings. They work with young people in schools and universities who need assistance in managing their mental wellbeing on a daily basis. The group was founded on the belief that mainstream education does not teach young people enough about mental health and wellbeing, leaving them vulnerable to being negatively affected by events in their lives. Championing Youth Minds aims to educate young people to manage their mental wellbeing by the facilitators sharing tips and tricks that have helped them through their own experiences. They also work with existing organisations to add a young person’s voice to the conversations around mental health, in order that the needs of young people are heard and respected. 

Da’aro Youth Project 

Da’aro Youth Project is a community-and-Black-led organisation in London that supports unaccompanied child and young adult asylum seekers and refugees from countries in the Horn of Africa. It was established in 2018 by members of the Eritrean community in London in response to the deaths of a number of teenage Eritreans by suicide. Some members of staff have come from refugee or asylum-seeking backgrounds and therefore understand the pressure that these young people are under when they come to the UK. The young people attending the group often have limited trust in the authorities, and so a community-based approach to supporting them is a crucial starting point. Through the youth club, they provide psychosocial support and a space for young people to relax, socialise and enjoy activities related to their cultural heritage. The club also provides advice, support and a casework service which addresses issues personal to the young person.