We are an independant charity that provides mental health support through free counselling to young people aged 11-25 yrs.
Increasing numbers of young people are suffering from declining mental health and the demand on our services has increased 100% since the Covid 19 pandemic.
Each year we provide over 4,000 vital counselling sessions to over 500 young people free of charge. Our services provide critical early intervention and can not only have a significantly positive immediate impact on young people's mental health and well-being , but also offer longer term benefits as they progress through life.
There has never been a greater demand for youth mental health services. The government body CAHMS which provides mental health services for under 18 year olds is so under resourced it can take years to provide an assessment and in our county it can be up to 5 years to get an assessment - this is far too long for a young person and parents. Time to Talk aim to offer an assessment in 2 weeks of referral and aims to provide the first counselling session within 12 weeks free of charge. We have seen a dramatic increase in referrals (with GP's referrals alone increasing from 10 to 25 per week since Covid 19) - this has led to a longer waiting list for our services. We currently have over 100 young people on our waiting list but want to reduce this.
Our counsellors are increasingly seeing a greater complexity of presentations, high rates of anxiety, depression and self harming, as well as eating disorders. Time to Talk's services provide critical early intervention for young people, helping them see a way out of their desperate situation.
Time to Talk has reached a critical point where we no longer have the necessary infrastructure to deal with the levels of referrals and demand for our services. If changes are not made young people will have to wait longer to get the help they need.
We are fundraising to enable us to introduce Silver Cloud which is an NHS backed mental health technology and will allow us to to offer easier access to services and offer shorter waiting times. We will however still require face to face counselling for many of the young and we therefore need the funds to increase the number of counsellor hours we can offer as a charity.
The help given to each individual from assessment to completion of their counselling costs us on average £350 so it essential that we as a charity raise the necessary funds not only to continue to offer the number of counselling sessions we have to date but to meet the demand and offer more counselling hours to those in desperate need of help. Silver Cloud technology will also cost the charity over £13,000 per annum with the licence, counsellors and admin support required. It will however enable us to help a lot more young people early on, reduce our waiting list but also allow us to provide support to the individuals parents and support network.
Mental health support for the young is critical to enable them to fully engage in education and in their community. By providing the necessary support to a young person we can ensure that they have the tools to cope with life and are more likely not to require support later in life. It also ensures that the young person's parents are able to cope and fully engage with their work and community.