In this blog Innes McGuinness (not real name), a Youth Just Us member currently in prison (not Polmont), reflects on the importance of teaching young people to be happy.

Personally I think we should be teaching young people in schools as young as 8 or 9 the importance of self-care, emotional intelligence and mindfulness. I think that with the use of coping skills and CBT and mindfulness along with learning the basics of compassion, self-compassion and other physiological aspects we could minimise the damage our childhoods cause as well as giving us the tools to deal with life as we grow older.

If we can learn how to care for ourselves on the inside and gain a better and deeper understanding of ourselves and how we work we could possibly lower the risks of serious problems a lot of young adults struggle with in the future such as anxiety, depression, stress, drug and alcohol abuse. The need and desire to make ourselves feel happier and worthy through committing crime for money and respect could also lessen.

It could only benefit our youth to make this subject part of the curriculum as it is essentially teaching children how to be happier and more content in themselves and how to better manage life in a spiritual type of way.

Innis McGuiness