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The voice for young people’s mental health & wellbeing

Monday 8th February 2016

In this issue we take a look at the work of YoungMinds, the UK’s leading charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people.

What is YoungMinds about?

Mental ill health is far more common than people realise, with nearly 1 million children and young people suffering with a diagnosable mental health disorder. Nearly 80,000 children and young people suffer from severe depression, 300,000 young people in Britain have an anxiety disorder and nearly 1 in 10 have self-harmed. With cuts to public services and lack of readily available help from other sources, support for this vulnerable section of society is becoming increasingly difficult to access.

That’s where YoungMinds can help.

Making Young Voices Heard

Children and young people with mental health problems are at the heart of everything YoungMinds does. YoungMinds works with young people to help get their voices heard and help them to influence and inform change in mental health services, the NHS and in national and local policy.

YoungMinds Vs, their most recent youth engagement campaign, is building a mass movement of young people fighting the pressures that contribute to their poor mental health. This puts them at the heart of decision making about their own care, their services and mental health policy.  After consulting with over 5,000 young people, YoungMinds were told the following five issues were those that mattered most to them: lack of access to help, sexual pressure, bullying, school stress, and unemployment. Over 50,000 people raised their voices in 2014/15 and joined YoungMinds in raising awareness and campaigning at a local and national level to improve young people’s mental health.

Young people struggling with school stress can download our Vs School Stress at youngminds.org.uk/stress_pack. Our current campaign #CopingOnCampus is run by students for students dealing with the particularly stressful transition of leaving school and starting university.

Become a youth activist and help us campaign for change

W - www.youngmindsvs.org.uk

E - ymcampaigns@youngminds.org.uk

F - facebook.com/YoungMindsVs

T - twitter.com/youngmindsvs

Helping Young People Online

The stigma associated with mental health and lack of readily available help means that the internet is where young people often turn for advice and support. The YoungMinds website is a vital resource of trusted information about mental health available to anyone, anywhere.

Launched by YoungMinds in 2014, headmeds.org.uk is a unique website that gives young people much needed straight talk on mental health medication. It includes information about potential side effects and when they should go and get help. It also answers difficult questions around the medication that they might feel uncomfortable asking their GP and real life stories provide reassurance during a time that is often confusing and frightening.

Helping Families

It’s not just young people YoungMinds looks to engage with, it’s also the adults that care for them too. Young people tell the charity that they need the adults responsible for their care to understand how they might be feeling, be able to spot problems as soon as they are at risk, and know how to help them when they are suffering.

Through the Parents’ Helpline, YoungMinds offers free and confidential online and telephone support, including information and advice, to any adult worried about the emotional problems, behaviour or mental health of a child or young person up to the age of 25. In the last year alone the service has helped over 10,000 families in crisis, with 1 in 7 parents saying the helpline was a lifesaver. Parents Helpline:  0808 802 5544

Professional Training

We also provide training for professionals including schools and the youth workforce. Our courses occur throughout the year. In addition to this we produce publications aimed at both children and families on various mental health topics. Information on this can be found here: youngminds.org.uk/training_services.

Fundraising

As a charity, YoungMinds relies on the generosity of individuals and companies who support their vital work.  Through one off donations, regular giving or fundraising for them, you can help to improve the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people in the UK.

£5 will provide information packs for schools about mental health.

£10 helps to develop vital online resources on issues such as self-harm and eating disorders and keep them up-to-date.

£30 will provide on the spot support to a distressed parent.

£50 will provide training for a group of young people so that their voices are heard in the media.

YoungMinds is a small organisation trying to make a big difference. Anything you can do will help them to continue their free and confidential Parents’ Helpline, campaigning, projects with young people and work in schools.

Whatever you would like to do, YoungMinds will be there to support you every step of the way. All you need to do is get in contact by emailing fundraising@youngminds.org.uk or calling on 0207 089 5050.

Mental Health Conferences

During 2016 The Boys’ Brigade is working with YoungMinds to put on a series of Regional Conferences to raise awareness of mental health issues and how we can help young people who are suffering or vulnerable. Find out more about the Conferences including booking forms at boys-brigade.org.uk/mentalhealth/

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