The young people we work often have direct experience of mental health issues, but many don't know what is meant by mental health and wellbeing. At Base 33 we're helping to educate them about these issues, as well as providing support for those experiencing mental health problems.
It's estimated that 850,000 children in the UK have mental health problems. We work with young people who are already at increased risk of developing mental health and wellbeing issues because of the difficulties they're facing in other areas of life. Adolescence and early adulthood is a crucial time for mental health, with 75% of people who experience long-term issues first exhibiting symptoms before the age of 25.
At Base 33 we recognise the importance of supporting young people's mental health and wellbeing. Our Head Space project supports young people by:
- Helping them to understand what is meant by good mental health in the context of their lives, physical health, relationships, education and employment.
- Providing dedicated support to young people who are have experience of mental health issues either directly or through friends and family.
- Helping those in need to access specialist services and support through our partnership with mental health charity Mind.
Why young people's mental health matters
Mental health issues in young people are not uncommon. In fact a recent report by Young Minds suggests that 850,000 children in the UK have mental health problems.
The report identified some troubling statistics:
- Three children in every classroom has a diagnosable mental health disorder
- One in five young adults show signs of an eating disorder
- One in 12 deliberately harm themselves (and 25,000 of them are hospitalised each year because of this)
- Nearly 80,000 children and young people suffer from severe depression*
By raising awareness and providing tailored support during this formative period, we can intervene early and reduce the impact that mental health issues have on the lives of young people.
Educating young people about mental health and wellbeing
While many of the young people we work with are at risk of developing mental health issues, few understand what mental health is and how to spot when someone has a problem. Some confused mental health with learning difficulties.
Our Head Space project aims to address these misconceptions and help young people to identify the warning signs of poor mental health and wellbeing so that they can seek support early.
Helping young people to access mental health and wellbeing support
We strive to support all of the emotional needs of the young people we work with as part of our holistic service. So when a young person we have worked with, Marie, attended a Trustee meeting and requested that Base 33 provide more support on the subject of mental health we set up a new project to address this need.
"When I was younger my mum would often struggle to get out of bed because she felt so low. I would get myself ready for school and come home and do the cooking and housework. At the time I didn’t know there was a problem – this was my normal. After a while I learned that my mum was depressed and ill and that something was wrong. My little brother is now having similar problems. When you realise this isn’t normal you don’t know what to do, I was never offered any help and just needed to talk. I worry I might get ill too.
I have visited Base 33 for some of their projects and they do great work, young people feel comfortable and able to be themselves. What I would like is if Base 33 would find a way of helping people who have had experiences like me to have a space to talk and get to support."
We took Marie's request to heart and have worked hard to deliver a new service that will support young people with their mental health and wellbeing needs.
In addition to our educational programme, we are offering one-to-one mentoring with trained Youth Workers, as well as weekly drop-in groups for young people experiencing wellbeing issues.
We also help those that need more specialist support to access other agencies, such as Mind.
Help us to provide mental health and wellbeing support to young people
To find out more about our mental health and wellbeing support for young people, or how you can support Base 33 please contact us.
* www.youngminds.org.uk/training_services/policy/mental_health_statistics, first accessed 19 February 2016