From education to employment


Today (Thursday 6 February), the inaugural Inside Out Day launched in schools across the UK with over 70,000 children in thousands of schools having gone to school wearing an item of clothing ‘inside out’ to remind everyone that how someone feels on the outside, does not always reflect their feelings inside.  This brand new schools initiative, Inside Out Day, was launched during Children’s Mental Health Week, in memory of Jenny Jackson, who suffered with mental health issues and sadly took her own life four years ago, just after her 40th birthday. The idea was the brainchild of Jenny’s sister, Johanna Novick, who, together with her other two sisters, Julie Borlant and Janie Jackson-Spillman have spent the past month tirelessly asking schools, sports clubs, mental health charities, organisations and anyone with an interest in tackling our current society’s mental health crisis to get on board and support this initiative. Their hope is that by encouraging children and adults in schools, clubs and workplaces around the country to wear an item of clothing inside out, it will create discussion around emotional well-being. 

Jenny’s family had an overwhelmingly positive response from schools who have been creating assemblies for their pupils, to create a meaninglful discussion.  The response on social media via @InsideOutDay, using #InsideOutDay has been phenomenal. Mental health charities and the media have also been getting involved to support raising awareness of the initiative

Johanna Novick commented on the success of Inside Out Day: “We set this campaign up four weeks ago by spreading the message through word of mouth and social media.  We never expected such a positive response. I think the message is so close to so many peoples’ hearts and is easy to implement, which is why thousands of schools and over 70,000 children have got on board.  If we can just help one young person, that would be amazing.  Helping more would be tremendous. 

She continued: “This all feels very surreal because there is a reason why we started this campaign – our sister Jenny.  We are overwhelmed and emotional but by spreading the message and getting people to think of others and talk, hopefully we’ll make a difference.  We thank all the schools and children who have embraced this initiative.”

She added:  “Mental health is one of the biggest challenges we face as a society.  Social media can often disguise reality making everyone else look like they’re happy and leading wonderful lives, even when they’re not. We just want to let children know it’s Ok not to be Ok and that no-one is perfect (even though they may look it).”

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