Training to support young people
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.
Our Youth Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) courses are for anyone who works with, lives with or supports young people aged 8-18. We train the adults in a young person’s life to have the skills and confidence to step in, offer first aid and guide them towards the support they need. In doing so, they can speed up a young person’s recovery, stop issues from developing into a crisis, and ultimately save lives.
But more than that, by giving these adults the information and skills to look after their own mental health, we want them to set an example for young people. We want adults to be able to show young people that mental ill health is a part of life in just the same way as physical ill health, that it’s OK to talk about and it’s OK to ask for help.
We hope that by giving people the tools to open up these conversations, we can empower them to create mentally healthy, supportive environments in their families, schools, youth groups and communities.
Let’s create a future where we all know how to look after our own mental wellbeing, so preventable issues don’t arise in the first place. A future where every young person has access to support if they need it.
Schools across England may be entitled to at least one free place on a Youth MHFA course for school staff through one of our funded programmes.
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.