This project will provide free counselling, art and drama therapy, mentors and support groups to help young people with mental health issues to recover and have brighter futures. Children and young adults report a sense of hope for a positive future after coming to us; feeling less lonely, with greater confidence in themselves. We empower them to take control of their mental health and lives, and stop them becoming another tragic statistic.
Hackney is the 2nd most deprived borough in the UK and saw some of the biggest cuts to public funding since 2010. It also has one of the highest proportions of under 25s in London and an above average rate of mental ill health for young people. The 11-25 year olds who come to us are experiencing severe poverty and trauma. They fall through the cracks of public services. They're at risk of sexual exploitation and struggle with depression, anxiety, self-harm and suicidal ideation.
We provide a safe, caring environment where practical, emotional and wellbeing support is tailored to the needs of each child or young person we see. This includes specialist psychotherapy, art and drama therapy, advice, information, youth groups, peer mentoring and family mediation. We adjust the care we give to best tackle the circumstances and challenges each young person faces - we know there's no point in addressing anxiety with therapy if they have nowhere safe to sleep.
Ages 11-25 are when mental health issues are most likely to develop. It is also the stage of life during which distress can cause serious mental health issues years (or even decades) later. Emotional resilience is one of the main effects of therapy; supporting young people to overcome their problems empowers them to live happier and safer lives now, and protects them in the future too. This project will help young people and in turn impact their families, friends and future generations.