Just a chat?  

Two of our trustees met with a high profile figure earlier this year and were talking to them about the charity and why we fund mental health treatment for young people. We were slightly taken aback when their response was, "Mental Health Treatment - isn't it just a chat?" For the young people who we have had the privilege to be able to support, I think they would say, "Absolutely not!" 
So, this World Mental Health Day we wanted to take the opportunity to outline why mental health treatment is more than 'just a chat' and the significant impact that the range of therapies we have been able to fund for our children and young people has had on their lives.  

Mental Fitness  

At Y:AMHS, we believe in offering a range of therapies to suit the individual Children and Young People we support.  
The effects of physical activity and fitness have been well documented over the years and many people find that engaging in physical activity and sport helps to reduce their feelings of anxiety and low mood, while increasing their self-esteem.  
That is why we have been so pleased to team up with Ben from Your Everest to offer some of our young people the opportunity to benefit from his Mental Fitness Programme.  
Ben is passionate about supporting young people's mental health and has a range of qualifications in coaching and counselling, alongside his experience of working with young people as a social worker. He is passionate about fitness and the benefits it has for mental health and has recently been working with Jack, who has agreed to share his experience with our supporters.  
What’s changed since starting with Your Everest? 
'I’m in better physical shape..and I’m doing better mentally. Especially with my school. When I first started seeing Ben I wasn’t going to school. Now I’m going every day'. 
Proudest thing you’ve achieved? 
'School and sticking with it...I'm doing a lot more exercise. I'm active most days. I am swimming, exercising playing football’ 
Describe your experience in 3 words? 
'Extremely helpful
What are your future goals ? 
'Staying fit and getting fitter..When I’m not active that's when I can get into a dark space'. 
What advice would you give another young person thinking about signing up for a personal training service? 
'Definitely worth it...just do it.. I feel better in my mind and in my body’ 

A range of therapies 

We offer a range of therapies for young people seeking our support, including counselling, CBT, Equine therapy, art therapy and psychology.  
We know that sitting in a room and talking to someone does not always suit our young people and we are always willing to help families find the therapy that will be most helpful for their child.  
We have partnerships with a range of counsellors and therapy providers locally, all who have a range of experience and qualifications that can meet our young people's needs.  
We only use therapists who have relevant and necessary qualifications, experience and accreditation and we ensure that all of the therapy providers we use have the necessary DBS checks and insurance.  
This year, we have also signed up to a new platform to help us find suitable and qualified therapy providers locally. TAC Access provides a platform for therapy providers to be listed, safe in the knowledge that all relevant checks have been made, enabling people to search for a suitable provider for their child.  
With all the necessary experience, qualifications and accreditation, it is clear that providing therapy for our children and young people involves much more than 'Just a Chat.'  

The Impact of therapy  

The case for Early Intervention has been made time and again when it comes to children and young people's mental health. Studies have found that over half of adult mental health conditions are developed by the time a person reaches 18* and that, currently, 1 in 6 children and young people experience a diagnosable mental health disorder.*  
(*Young Minds).  
If support and treatment for mental ill health is not offered early on, mental health conditions risk becoming entrenched and developing into more serious illness, or even death. In the UK in 2019, suicide was the leading cause of death in children and young people aged 5-19 years (ONS).  

Changing the story  

However, with the help of our supporters, we have been able to offer funding for treatment for more than 25 children and young people in our area in the last year.  
Some of them have shared with us how this has helped #changethestory for them:  
"It gives me a safe space to talk about issues I can’t talk about with the other people in my life..." 
"Haven’t been thinking about suicide or self harm as much, it’s nice to know I have someone to talk to about things..." 
"I’m beginning to be able to be in busy places for short times with out the anxiety taking over." 
"This service has made a huge difference to this child and in turn his family!!" 
"...receiving such early support was vital and I can't express that enough. This charity Y:AMHS is an absolute life saver to our children. I'm forever grateful." 

"It takes a village to raise a child"  

We are so grateful to everyone who has supported us since we launched the charity in 2021. Individuals and organisations have worked hard to help us raise the funds we need to pay for the range of therapies that are having such a positive impact on the mental health of our local children and young people.  
We will continue to strive to ensure that children and young people in our area are able to access the mental health treatment they need, when they need it, as soon as they need it.  
But we can't do this without YOU!  
Please, please, consider supporting us in any way you can. This might be by organising a fundraising event, either by yourself, or with your organisation. Perhaps you could consider becoming a regular donor for only £5 per month? Or, maybe you could give a little of your time to help us with fundraising events and activities as one of our Fundraising Assistants? Whatever you can do, however little, it will make a huge difference and it will help #changethestory for children and young people in our area. Search our website for more details of how you can get involved, or email us at volunteer@yamhs.co.uk.  
Together, we can #changethestory 
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