This week is Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week, a campaign encouraging children, young people and adults to take steps to be healthy, by looking after both their bodies and their minds.
Most recently, BBC Surrey released an article sharing that only a third of children and young people with mental health conditions receive the treatment they need from the NHS, due to limited resource.
Here at the Community Foundation for Surrey we are proud to support so many local groups working to improve the mental health of children and young people across the county. We have recently launched our Surrey Mental Health Fund that will fund projects providing early intervention support for young people.
Below are just some examples of charities and projects being implemented in Surrey to tackle this ever-growing need.
Bianca Effemey, Founder and CEO of Momentum Children’s Charity, said:
“When a child is diagnosed with cancer or a life-challenging condition, they can often struggle to deal with the emotional and the physical changes that they find themselves suddenly dealing with. Sourcing support through a doctor or hospital can often take months. We recognised that there was a need for immediate access to a variety of therapy services for all the family.
One of our objectives for 2019 is to enable more families to access our one-on-one counselling services in their own homes, helping to improve their mental and emotional health. Our goal is to increase the number of children, siblings and parents who benefit from a course of counselling by 30%.”
The charity’s therapy services programme includes music therapy, play therapy, art therapy, and access to a trained psychotherapist/counsellor. Momentum has recognised, and recent research has shown, that mental health issues among children who have had cancer can appear years after treatment is complete. Momentum Children’s Charity ensures that they are there to offer support at every step, forever.
Jenny Rayner, Principle Trustee of The Lucy Rayner Foundation, said:
“Mental ill health in young people is prevalent in schools, colleges, universities and in the workplace. Our charity works hard to bridge the gap in the local community providing services to make sure that no one slips through the net, especially if a young person cannot be helped immediately.
We now have 15 counsellors working with the charity to ensure that any young person that is referred to us can be seen straight away, for free!
Our support groups ‘Just Talk’ and ‘Family Matters’ support anyone with mental health challenges, as well as our new Surrey Suicide Bereavement Service which supports families who have lost a loved one through suicide.
Our workshops across the county are raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of mental health related issues which continue to highlight the preventative actions that we all can take to get educated on how to build mental resilience.
The highlight of 2018 was the production of our documentary ‘Lucy – Breaking the Silence’ which has won 8 film awards and that we now show across a number of platforms. This has been our biggest success of the year. We were asked to show it to over 150 MP in the Houses of Parliament.
It is thanks to the Community Foundation for Surrey and the Trusts and Foundations they work with that have funded some of our key services and projects. With new ideas and projects in the pipeline, we are excited to see what 2019 can bring.”
The Lucy Rayner Foundation was founded following the death of Lucy Rayner, who took her life aged 22. The Foundation strives to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of depression and mental health problems in young adults, through a number of services that they provide.
Beth Wood, Artist Director at Prospero Theatre, said:
“A huge thank you to the Community Foundation for Surrey for funding Sunnydown in the Community. Through drama and Mind Fitness the boys will learn much needed coping mechanisms and have the opportunity to make real and positive links with local groups. We can’t wait to start! We are all massively grateful.”
Prospero Theatre use the arts as a developmental tool to enable young people with special needs and adults with disabilities to gain life skills, and to experience arts and culture. This community project will support students at a special educational needs school through workshops and a variety of projects, to positively impact their mental and emotional wellbeing.
The Community Foundation for Surrey have recently awarded over £54,000 from their Surrey Mental Health Fund in response to this growing need. Grants have been awarded to fund charitable projects across the county which support the improvement in mental health and wellbeing of children and young people aged 8-13.
To find out more about the Fund, you can visit the webpage here.
If you are interested in donating to our Surrey Mental Health Fund, you can do so here.