Someone To Talk To
The Youth Mental Health Crisis
There is a mental health crisis amongst our children and young people. An NHS study found 1 in 8 children and young people have a mental health disorder. Meaning there is an average of 3 children with mental health disorders in every school class. The Covid-19 pandemic has greatly exacerbated this and mental health issues in children and young people has increased by over 36%. There has been an increase in domestic abuse, anxiety, depression and a lessening of safe spaces.
Furthermore, there is a hidden inequality in the accessibility of mental health care. Rates of mental health disorders in lower income households is double that of their wealthier counterparts. These disparities can be partly linked to access to mental health services. Those who cannot afford private clinics, often face wait times of 6 months (1/5) and 1/4 of those referred were not accepted into treatment.
Investing in the mental health of children and young people is key as 75% of mental health disorders have their first onset before 18 years of age.
How Can We Help?
Someone To Talk To will provide free psycho-therapy sessions to children who are struggling as well as awareness raising targeted to all pupils. Schools are an effective place to run outreach for this project as a study published in the Journal of European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry found that, “schools across England are increasingly a focus of attention as a key site for support for mental health and wellbeing.”
Outreach material is sent to families, then self-referral can be made through confidential drop boxes and teacher/parent referrals. These free private sessions in a neutral known environment, schools, with a trained professional is an effective way to provide care to those who would not usually have access to such services.
We are additionally planning to run awareness raising campaign, #LittleTruths online and in schools. On social media we aim to raise awareness of the importance of nurturing your mental health and de-stigmatise asking for help. In schools we do this through speeches, assemblies and mental health workshops. Possibly taking this further to provide teacher training on supporting student’s mental health and how to identify worrying behaviours through the workshops.
This will form a rounded, early intervention program. Supporting children and young people with serious mental health needs through psycho-therapy sessions, whilst also working to de-stigmatise mental health and promote wellness in the wider community of young people in London.
What Difference Will Someone To Talk To Make?
In investing in children and young people's mental health, you are investing in their future. Proposed outcomes include:
- Improved attainment in school,
- Improved educational outcomes,
- Improved personal wellness and happiness,
- Improved future employment outcomes,
- Decreased risk of substance abuse,
- Decreased risk of engaging in criminal behaviour,
- Decreased risk of suicide and self-harm.
All of these behaviours are connected to poor mental health in youth. To invest mental health in childhood and youth is to invest in tackling the immediate needs of the child and improve their lifelong outcomes, increasing social mobility.
Where Will Your Donation Go?
At Little Lives UK we believe in transparency and your donations directly benefiting our children and community. All the money raised will go to pay for a professional child psychologist to run the psychotherapy sessions.
This is a crisis and we really need your help, please donate or visit out website to discover other ways you can help improve the mental health of children and young people.
Thank you for your interest in supporting Someone To Talk To!