St Albans young people asking for mental health support has increased by 32%.
Mental Health Awareness Week, 9 – 15 May 2022 is an opportunity for the whole UK to focus on achieving good mental health. The theme this year is ‘Loneliness’ which has had a huge impact on physical and mental health during the pandemic, no more so than with young people.
Local charity Youth Talk is facing a huge jump in demand for their counselling service. Youth Talk provide free, confidential counselling to 13 – 25 year olds who live, work or study in St Albans District. The charity is desperately seeking additional financial support from both individuals and businesses to meet growing requests for help.
Before the pandemic Youth Talk were already seeing an increase in the number of young people struggling with their emotional wellbeing and mental health, but since Covid-19 struck, requests for help have soared. The charity is currently providing around 100 counselling sessions per week and supports over 400 young people per year. Over the last year the charity has delivered 32% more counselling sessions – but the demand continues to rise.
David Barker, Youth Talk’s CEO comments: “It’s a worrying time. Never in our 25-year history have we seen such a huge demand on our service. There are over 100 young people currently on our waiting list and when a young person is brave enough to take that first step towards getting help, they shouldn’t be kept waiting. We want to help, but currently don’t have the resources to support everyone at the point they reach out to us.
We and our community have a duty to every young person in our District to provide them with the support they need during this challenging time.”
David continues: “There is an urgent need to scale up what we do – we have a new 5 year strategy where we want to double our counselling provision and as part of this need larger premises so we can undertake more face to face counselling. Currently around 60% of our sessions are held face to face.
We are incredibly thankful to our loyal individual and corporate sponsors who we rely on for funding, but we need more money and support to realise our vital ambition to support the growing numbers of local young people needing help.”
Donors, future volunteers or those needing support, can gain further information by visiting https://youthtalk.org.uk/