YTTs Youth Advisory Group consulted with other young Gypsies Roma and Travellers and found that there was a lack of video-based content available that accurately reflected young Gypsies and Travellers' lived experiences effecting their mental health, from their own perspectives.
The 'It’s Kushti to Rokker' project set out to change this. Over 8 months, a group of young creatives worked with writers and filmmakers to create the Its Kushti to Rokker series of short films based on their real-life experiences, in order to inspire and support other young people to speak up and seek help where they need it.
Alongside the series of films, their are information packs for young people and parents where they can find advice and information about support services that can offer help in times of worry or stress.
YTT Editor Lisa Smith said: "High levels of discrimination and educational exclusion can place young Gypsies and Travellers' at a higher risk of experiencing poor mental health. Youth-made films are uniquely useful for opening up conversations about challenging issues and bringing otherwise unheard voices to the forefront. We hope the impact of Its Kushti to Rokker will reach far wider than the young people involved in the project and that their stories and voices will be used as a lasting legacy to promote positive mental health and well-being."
The series includes a 10-minute documentary presented by Romani activist Betsy Mobey, aimed at policymakers, education and health care professionals, to improve knowledge of Gypsy and Traveller ethnicity and culture and the barriers young people encounter in fulfilling their potential and getting the support they need.
The films are designed to be used alongside the toolkit, created to support practitioners working with young people looking to facilitate discussions on mental health and well-being.
The toolkit also includes information on useful resources designed to enhance and support service providers' understanding of and engagement with Gypsy and Traveller communities.
Lots of hard work and technical expertise has gone into creating the Its Kushtii to Rokker series. Young people involved in this project have been absolutely instrumental in the development and production process. For a full list of crew and cast for each film click here for the credits.
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We want to say a big thank you to The National Lottery Community Fund for making the work we do possible!