St Albans MP, Anne Main, visited Youth Talk on Wednesday 7th October as part of raising awareness of World Mental Health Day on 10th October, and to celebrate the work of the charity in promoting mental health locally.
Youth Talk provides free counselling by professional counsellors for young people, who are aged between 13 and 25 and live, work or receive education in the District of St Albans.
Anne said: ‘I was delighted to be given the opportunity to visit Youth Talk, and see for myself what fantastic work they do for our young people.
‘It is very encouraging that we have a confidential service in St Albans that helps troubled teenagers and young adults deal with all the stresses and strains that they are facing in their lives. I can only pay tribute to Youth Talk and their professionals for their terrific work in the community.’
Counselling has been shown to be an effective way to treat mental health issues. In the last year, there has been a 20% increase in the number of young people referring themselves to Youth Talk with anxiety and stress. There has also been an increase of 15% in the number of young people referring themselves due to self-harming. Youth Talk has helped young people who were suicidal, had eating disorders, or had low self-esteem.
The charity is currently seeing over forty young people each week and has helped over 2,200. The need for its service is as strong as ever with the number of self-referrals increasing each year.
The St Albans MP said that ‘because of its focus on individual responsibility, the service is not always promoted widely. I was pleased to see that the Bishop of St Albans recently commended them in the House of Lords for their good work, and I believe Youth Talk is a real hidden gem in our local community.’
Chief Executive, Trevor Fromant said: ‘On this World Mental Health Day it is important to recognise that there are many young people locally who need help to support their mental health. We are delighted that we are reaching so many more of them, but we do now need sponsorship from local business and donations from local people to deal with the demand.’