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Investment in support for young people’s mental health

Published Tuesday, 24 January 2023

Young people experiencing mental health problems can now access early preventative support thanks to a new service commissioned by City of York Council.

The service was commissioned following a citywide survey of secondary school children across the city, which highlighted the need for specific, early support for and young people dealing with emotional and psychological distress. As a result, the council has commissioned York Mind to provide support for 12-15 year olds, supporting an existing service which is open to 16-25 year olds.

The new service offers a bespoke package of support needs, as well as counselling sessions. The service started in Autumn 2022 and has already delivered over 250 counselling hours and supported over 44 young people.

Anyone in need of one-to-one support who is aged 12-25 years can now self-refer for online or face-to-face sessions via York Mind - Young People's Service or be referred by a professional. Demand for such early help is high and a waiting list may operate from time to time, but the aim is to keep this to a minimum.

Cllr Nigel Ayre, Executive Member for Finance and Performance, said:

This investment in early help and prevention for our young people’s mental health is right for them now and is right for their future wellbeing.

“At a time when the council, like all of us, is addressing rising costs and stresses on our budgeting, investing in preventative health measures will help reduce the need for more expensive and intensive therapies and treatment in years to come.”

Cllr Carol Runciman, Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, said:

Investing in our young people’s mental health is essential to support their current and long-term wellbeing, development and education. A counselling service for 12-25 year olds, supports them through their adolescence and their increasing independence while helping prevent mental health issues becoming more severe or prolonged.

“For anyone feeling low, stressed or worried, this support can help in a number of ways.  It offers space to explore and better understand these feelings, and teaches ways of supporting and improving their mental wellbeing, as well as learning that no-one need struggle alone.”

Alyson Scott, Chief Executive of York Mind, said:

We’re delighted that this popular and effective service has been commissioned by City of York Council. We’re especially pleased as they’re more usually funded by health services and so are a welcome addition to existing support.

“Young people tell us repeatedly about how valued the service is and we have worked hard to refine the offer to try and make what can be a really difficult time for young people an accessible and smooth process from the first time they contact us to when they move out of the service.”

Among the feedback young people have given York Mind following counselling is:

  • “My anxiety is a lot easier to cope with.”
  • “The place is amazing, everyone is so helpful and kind.”
  • “I respect myself and my needs more.”
  • “I found talking about my day and things that are going on for me. Useful and using creative methods to help.”

Read about York Mind - Young People's Service for more information.