Pip Piper, one of the team behind ‘Mountain Biking – The Untold British Story‘, has a new project on the go. This time, it’s a series of short films, made by young people for young people, to highlight mental health issues affecting them.
One of the films made so far is ‘Ollie’s Story’ – in which a boy describes how going for a mountain bike ride with his dad has changed his life for the better. Only there’s a twist here: the dad in question is Pip, and Ollie is his son.
There will be plenty of you reading this who can imagine or who have experienced being a parent of a child with mental health issues. As parents, we’re used to scooping up our children, administering magic kisses, plasters and Calpol, and sending them on their way. But when it’s mental ill health, how can you help then? You can’t see the problem, only the effect – and even then are you seeing everything that your child is feeling? How can you help? While Ollie had professional help too, going mountain biking with his dad is something that he thinks has really helped him:
‘Mountain biking for me was a form of therapy and a coping mechanism. To get out into nature on my bike really helped with some very difficult mental well being issues I was facing. Being a part of #take a minute and helping make this and another film has been great although I was aware I was being really honest. I’m hoping to help produce the other four films as part of the wider campaign too. #take a minute is all about young people talking about how they have dealt with their mental health journeys , the films are devised and made by young people with professional support.‘ – Ollie.
As well as taking Ollie mountain biking, Pip has been able to create the opportunity to make this ‘Take A Minute’ film, which Pip hopes will help other young people address their feelings and experiences of mental ill health:
‘At first I was very nervous with Ollie being so honest putting his story out there. However, it was very important for him to do that and being involved in the film and having people reach out to him when they saw it , was a very healing and cathartic process for him and us as a family. Taking him mountain biking is a real dad and son thing for us. It helps us connect and gives him space to get into nature and process his feelings. Allowing young people to talk about how they really feel is so important and these films can really help do that. When the remaining 4 films are created and the #take a minute campaign goes live officially , the hope is it will be of great benefit to a lot of people.’
The organisation behind this film project is called ‘One Small Barking Dog’. They have a variety of youth led film projects, and explain the thinking behind the ‘Take A Minute’ series.
‘#TakeAMinute will be a social media campaign that features a series of 6 short films being produced by ourselves that focus on and highlights young peoples’ mental health. This project is made by young people for young people. The intention is to help young people as well as practitioners and gate keepers to use the films to explore and discuss the issues raised.’
‘OSBD has already funded the creation of 2 of the 6 films so far and is now looking for further support for the project. We are hoping to complete the remaining 4 films and launch the campaign by the autumn/fall of 2020.’
If you’d like to support their work, head here to donate. Or, perhaps, Ollie’s tale will help inspire you to help someone else experience the mental health benefits of mountain biking?
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Beautiful to watch. A very brave young man going through tough times with great dignity. Well done Ollie.
Well done that young man.
What an excellent video. Well done on taking the first steps Ollie, and spreading this important message about mental health awareness (especially amongst younger people).
It must have taken a lot of courage for Ollie to share his story like this. His openness and honesty will hopefully be an inspiration to others in similar situations. Well done to Ollie and all involved.
Id be a very proud Dad of this young man. An example to many.
Wow, that was very good.
Happy to admit that it’s not dusty here, and that I’m sat with big tears rolling down my face. Ollie, if you read this, that was so eloquent and heart felt, keep turning those pedals you’re an inspiration. I have a young lad who is going through some tough times but we seem to be on an even keel at the moment, however his anxiety is holding him back from doing the things he loves. I manage to drag him out on his bmx and he comes home smiling and confident for a few precious hours, lockdown hasn’t helped as he’s now anxious about being too far from home and that’s stopping him coming out the mountain bike. I’m going to show him this film and see what he takes from it. Thanks again, it’s always nice to be reminded we’re not alone and that there is a way through this (this forum is a great place for support as well).
Thank you Oli, that is a beautiful piece and one I’ll share with young people I know. Peace to you, Tim