1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem in any given year. Around 75% of young people fear the reactions of friends when they talk about their mental health problems.
Through the ICE Project we have become increasingly aware of the mental health struggles that Exmouth’s young people are facing. Through the Hub and our mentoring programme, we regularly see young people dealing with depression, self-harm, grief, anxiety and eating disorders.
Sadly the need is so great that there is often a waiting list to see the school counsellors and CAMHS, and due to this high demand, these services often have to prioritise those most at risk. Therefore, in early 2017 we will be launching ‘Haven,’ a safe space for young people to meet, a peer support group to learn coping strategies, to be listened to, and to realise that they are not alone. It will not replace professional services, but will hopefully add to them and help to support young people while they are waiting to access professional help.
The project is still in development stages, with considerable consultation taking place with the school and mental health services, as well as The Project who run a similar project very successfully in Axminster. However, we know that it will consist of two fortnightly support groups, one for children (primary) and one for young people (secondary), both run on a Monday evening. We will also be providing a group for the parents of children with mental health problems, so that they too can find support.
As with all Open Door projects, we will be reliant on our volunteers so we are looking for a very special team with the following skills: good with young people, comfortable making conversation, great at listening, knowledge or understanding of mental health, friendly, patient, sensitive, understanding of confidentiality and safeguarding. In return full training and support will be provided. If you’re interested, please get in touch!