Let’s start with the statistics. One in ten young people experience a mental health issue at any one time. For those aged 5-19 suicide is the second most common cause of death, and a record number of children contacted Childline with suicidal thoughts in 2016/17.
Record levels of young people are struggling. Academic pressure, social media, bullying, poverty, lack of availability of professional mental health support – all have been named as contributing to this epidemic of poor mental health in our young people.
It’s clear that young people are not getting the support they need. Key figures in a young person’s life – parents, family members, teachers, tutors, carers, youth workers – can often spot when a young person is struggling but may not know how best to help.
Youth Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) courses are for everyone who works with, lives with or supports young people aged 8-18. They will teach you the skills and confidence to spot the signs of mental health issues in a young person, offer first aid and guide them towards the support they need. In doing so, you can speed up a young person’s recovery and stop a mental health issue from getting worse.
Our courses won't teach you to be a therapist, but we will teach you to listen, reassure and respond, even in a crisis - and even potentially stop a crisis from happening.
But more than that, we aim to give you the information and skills to look after your own mental health so that you can set an example for young people. By giving you the tools to have these conversations, we hope to empower you to create a mentally healthy, supportive environment in your family, school, peer group or community.
Let's create a future where mental health is treated as a normal part of life, in the same way as physical health. A future where every young person has access to support if they need it.
Take a look at our free downloadable resources for young people's mental health including a list of helpful organisations, guidance for having a supportive conversation, film clips, an interactive quiz and more.