Association of Mental Health Providers

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Guest Blog: Youth Mental Health Day

Today is Youth Mental Health Day, an opportunity to recognise the unique challenges that young people face and the positive impact support can bring. We are pleased to have a guest blog post written by our members No5 Young People who help young people to be brave, manage anxiety, and improve their mental health through their free counselling, mental health support, workshops and resources.

– Carly Newman (Operations and Relationships Manager) and Abbie Trussler (Projects Coordinator) No5 Young People

Since 1971, No5 Young People has been offering free, confidential counselling and mental health support for young people aged 11-25 who live, work or study in the RG postcode area.

Every year, we support over 1,500 young people through counselling, preventative outreach, alternative support and online resources.

All of our counsellors working with under 18s are fully qualified and are additionally specially trained through our CPCAB Level 5 accredited Diploma in Counselling Young People. Those working with 18-25 year olds are on their final placements for their Level 4 Diplomas.

At No5, we know it’s brave to ask for help so we make sure to offer a wide range of support and access/entry points in the hope that it means young people can ask for what they need more quickly.

Our wide range of support includes:

  • 1:1 counselling in-person, online, over the phone and in six local schools
  • Our website full of resources such as, FAQ’s, factsheets, blogs, self-care sheets, useful links and more!
  • Resources, such as blogs and videos, created by our Young Ambassadors and Lived Experienced Young Leaders
  • Monthly newsletters tailored for young people and those around them
  • Having our referral form accessible via our website, where young people can refer themselves without the need of a GP, teacher or parent
  • A signposting site created by young people for young people
  • Various project offers
  • Offering signposting cards in the community and during outreach events and workshops

Young people tell us that seeing others like them who have asked for help, and have a story of recovery, helps them feel better able to ask for help. That’s why young voices run through the centre of everything we do, with Lived Experience Leadership being at the forefront of our strategy and direction.

Our outreach work aims to educate young people on the themes and topics they have told us are important to them, and all of our work is co-designed and co-delivered by professionals alongside young people.

We believe supporting young people to understand themselves, and their mental health, allows them to take charge of their wellbeing and gives them a language to ask for help. This is all part of being brave.

Young people tell us that their counselling, and taking part in our workshops and other outreach work, helps them to feel more confident and brave:

“The [counselling] experience has been amazing and I have felt more happy with opening up about my situation that I am going through.”

“We talked about things that I felt like I couldn’t talk about but it made me feel a bit better.”

“I enjoyed learning about the workshop leaders’ personal story because it made me feel not alone.”

“I now feel more confident in making decisions for myself and not needing the approval of others.”

Our annual Summer Transitions Project is a great example of how our creative expressive wellbeing projects support young people’s mental health and wellbeing.

The Summer Transitions Project provides creative opportunities to young people who are struggling with school, likely to struggle with their next academic transition, or at risk of exclusion.

Through this project, young people are supported to feel more confident to go back to school in September and make that transition into their new school or year group, to make new friends during the week and they have the courage to learn and explore a new skill. This year, young people said they saw an average of 83% improvement in their mental health and wellbeing. Young people who participated in the project said:

  • “I feel really happy with myself. I couldn’t have done this a year ago because of my confidence.”
  • “I feel really happy because I’ve made some friends today.”
  • “I’m usually socially awkward but I’ve come out my shell.”