Heads Above The Waves

Heads Above The Waves is a not-for-profit organisation that raises awareness of depression and self-harm in young people. We promote positive, creative ways of dealing with the bad days.

The Facts

Self-harm affects around 1 in 12 young people, yet it remains an issue people struggle to handle, talk about and understand.
71% of young people, 70% of parents, and 60% of teachers say they don’t feel able to actually talk about self-harm.
Hospital admissions as a result of self-harm in the UK have risen by 68%, and this figure is predicted to keep rising.
By getting people to talk more openly about self-harm (in the same way that we do drug use or unprotected sex) and making people aware of the help that exists, Heads Above The Waves hopes to reduce hospital admissions as a result of self-harm.

Heads Above The Waves

HATW was set up in 2013 to support young people dealing with self-harm and mental health issues. We do this through:
• A website where we share people’s blog posts of how they’ve overcome difficult Emes in their lives, and also as a plaGorm to share coping techniques and helplines.
• Running workshops in Secondary Schools across Wales giving young people a chance to try out a positive coping techniques such as learning to play the drums, free writng, mediaton and art.
• Selling merchandise with a positve message behind the designs, that encourages people to talk about mental wellbeing.
• Being advocates for young people, trying to affect change on a local, regional and national level by speaking at conferences
• Attending music festivals and gigs where we speak to young people about their mental health,sell their merch, distribute literature with advice and helpline numbers on, and be a presence at the events to bridge the gap between event goers and the venue/promoters to create a safe and positive environment.

HATW at Events

As an organisation we’re aware that contacting mental health services can be a daunting task so we want to be accessible to young people and be a presence where they are. This is to make it easier to start these conversations and encourage young people to reach out, to access helplines, and to talk about their problems Watching, playing and listening to music is such an important part of our ethos our work, and to the young people we speak to and work with.