Y:AMHS is one year old this May!  

How did Y:AMHS start?  

Our founder, Rachael Colbran, had experienced first hand the difficulty in accessing mental health treatment for her daughter, and had been told to seek private therapy by local services, who were clearly devastatingly overstretched.  
Rachael and the other Y:AMHS trustees were worried about how our children and young people would be able to cope with the stressful situations they faced due to the pandemic alongside an ever-more pressurised local mental health service and were also aware of the difficulty many families would face in trying to access private healthcare when many were struggling to provide even the basics.  
Having decided to try and do something to help children and young people locally, the trustees launched Y:AMHS during Mental Health Awareness Week 2021.  

How much of a problem is mental health in children and young people?  

In a recent Education Select Committe meeting, Lord Layard highlighted the still unbelievable statistics related to the accessibility of mental health services for children and young people.  
It is clear that services have not been invested in for the past decade and this, along with a lack of early intervention has led to what many fear is now the next pandemic .  
Less than 1 in 3 Children and young people with a diagnosable mental health disorder get access to the treatment they need, while the number of children and young people with mental ill health has risen to 1 in 6 over the past 2 years. 

What does Y:AMHS do?  

The core of our work is to raise the money needed to be able to pay for children and young people in our area to access private mental health treatment and much of our efforts go into finding ways to raise funds and awareness of the issues young people in our area are facing. Getting the appropriate support as soon as possible is key to enabling recovery from mental ill health, allowing children and young people to get on with living their lives, accessing education and meeting their potential.  
In January this year, we also launched a parent support group, which provides a free, confidential and non-judgemental space where parents and carers of children and young people with mental ill health can come and chat with others who 'get it'. We provide signposting and support services to help parents and carers find the right support for their child, empowering them to support their child's recovery.  

We have achieved so much... 

With the help of our community, we have been able to offer funding for treatment to 8 children and young people in our area - over 80 sessions of therapeutic support!  
We have also been able to offer support to a range of parents and carers who have found our drop-in group, sponsored by the Sussex Community Foundation at The Hawth on a Saturday morning to be a place where they feel safe and supported.  
We have been blown away by the impact our support has had on the families we've been able to help and have a made a short video to highlight some the feedback we've received.  

...but there is so much more to do  

With 1 in 6 children and young people experiencing mental ill health and only 1 in 3 of those getting the help they need, we still have much more to do! 1 in 6 children equates to 5 in every class, and with only 2 of those children getting the help they need, that leaves 3 children in every class who needs support to access mental health treatment.  
With the help of the whole community, we would like to be able to help atleast double the number of children and young people in the coming year. This means raising enough money to pay for treatment and support for 16 young people in our area, with a cost of around £15,000.  
This sounds like a huge task, but if many people can give just a little, we will be able to #changethestory for children and young people in our area, giving them back some hope and a future to look forward to.  
Visit Y:AMHS to find out more about how you can get involved.  
"It takes a village to raise a child"  
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