Our Children and Young People’s Mental Health Webinar
was the second of our Hidden in Plain Sight Webinars that bring together local people and voluntary sector experts to share the insights from organisations that are now facing a surge in demand for their services.
What we heard
1 in 8 children and young people have a diagnosable mental health condition such as depression or anxiety. 
Nearly half of 17-19 year olds with a diagnosable mental health disorder has self-harmed or attempted suicide at some point. 
Of the 185,000 5-16 years olds in Surrey, this equates to over 23,000 children and young people needing help and support locally. 
If the Children’s Commissioner is correct – that only 1 in 4 of those are referred for clinical support, that leaves 75% (over 17,000) of Surrey children needing to look elsewhere for support. 
Accessible, specialist services embedded in the community are fundamental to ensuring that children and young people can seek the support that they need, and elevate pressures on other services that have had to cut back on youth provision or had to focus resources on the highest clinical need.
Finding social solutions and early intervention support is more cost effective and less visible as “treatment” and therefore often less stigmatised. Often young people do not want to be associated with a clinical problem.
In Surrey, voluntary sector organisations are coming together to address this added pressure for services across the county.
The Surrey Wellbeing Partnership has formed to create a framework for voluntary sector collaboration, with the purpose to deliver community and school-based support for young people which focuses on supportive and ongoing relationships to provide consistency and stability for children.
The Community Foundation for Surrey is a long-term supporter of Surrey-based charities and voluntary sector organisations supporting children and young people’s mental health.
These services, now more than ever, are in need of significant uplift in funding to meet the increased demand that they are now facing as we come out of lockdown.
Jude Crome, CEO of Leatherhead Youth Project shares the story of one 13-year-old living in Surrey and why the support of a local charity is so important.
What can be done in the immediate to help?
Third sector partners really need “more boots on the ground.”
This would enable more time and focus to be spent catering to each individuals’ specific needs. Recruiting specialist well being youth workers for example, would be invaluable as every need is different. It is a struggle to recruit meaningful ongoing roles due to lack of resource.
“We are incredibly grateful to all of our generous local donors who have helped us to address the urgent need for support for local young people. However, we are aware that our local voluntary sector is in real need of further support.
Together We Can provide this support and bring hope to the lives of local young people; and make a real difference across our county.”
– Laura Thurlow, Chief Executive, Community Foundation for Surrey
A recording of our webinar is available.
Thank you to our inspiring speakers
- Jude Crome, Chief Executive, Leatherhead Youth Project
Jude is a qualified counsellor and has been working with young people in Surrey since 2008. Five of these years were as the Counselling and Emotional Wellbeing Manager at Leatherhead Youth Project and most recently as the Charity’s Chief Executive.
Leatherhead Youth Project (LYP) offers a diverse range of projects and activities to 11-19 year olds across Mole Valley, including Youth Cafes, Counselling, Sports Projects and Residential’s. LYP aims to respond to local needs and help young people to be safe, happy and making positive changes in their lives.
- Sarah Kenyon, Heads Together Manager, YMCA East Surrey
Sarah is the Counselling Manager for YMCA East Surrey’s youth counselling service, Heads Together which has been supporting young people since the 1990’s. Sarah specialises in working with adolescents and young adults.
YMCA East Surrey is a vibrant community-based charity offering a wide variety of services across East Surrey with a strong emphasis on services for children and young people, particularly those facing challenges such a deprivation, physical or mental health issues, learning disabilities and difficult family circumstances. YMCA East Surrey’s work is driven by the desire to support children and young people to believe in themselves and to reach their full potential.
- Chloe, a young person who shared her story
,  https://youngminds.org.uk/about-us/media-centre/mental-health-stats/ Young Minds (as at August 2020)
 The Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimated as at Mid 2017, Surreyi.
 https://www.childrenscommissioner.gov.uk/report/the-state-of-childrens-mental-health-services/ – Briefing: The state of children’s mental health services, Anne Longfield (published January 2020)
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