I met last Friday the brilliant team at the Find it Out Centre in Hurst Road, Horsham, a service for 0-19 year olds (and where appropriate their parents) who need advice, support and information. For many this the best way to address mental health anxieties and help them feel themselves. The “Drop in” service for 13-25 year olds helps them get advice and form natural support networks of young people. Alternatively, if they want to talk to someone in confidence individuals can make one-on-one appointments. The Find it Out team work with local schools including routine termly visits to secondaries working with staff to help identify students in need and provide appropriate support. Via self-referral to the Find it Out Centre young people can access “YES” (the Youth Emotional Support Service) which looks to support them around a whole range of issues from feeling anxious and relationship issues too self-injury or problems with self-esteem.
Anyone who is privileged to be in regular contact with young people know that these issues are huge source of concern. They are being addressed nationally but as ever it is vital that funding and policy decisions feed through swiftly to support those providing action on the ground.
As part of the long-term expansion plan for the NHS, mental health funding is being increased by £2.3 billion a year: faster growth than the overall NHS budget and with funding for Children’s and Young People’s mental health rising faster still.
Prevention is always better than cure and the Government announced a set of preventative measures on Monday. Mental Health first aid is already available in 2,000 secondary schools and this is being rolled out to a further 1,000. All those going through teacher training will henceforth receive training to help spot for signs for mental health issues and offer guidance. Among other measures, from next year “Every Mind Matters” will provide targeted advice for parents on how to help young people tackle online bullying and self-harm. Lastly I am very pleased that a “breathing space” will also be introduced for those with debt issues needing time to address their mental health issues, a practical change for which I have personally campaigned.
Photo Caption: Jeremy Quin visited the Find it Out Centre in Horsham last week to find out about the invaluable support they offer to young people across the District.