Mind in Brent, Wandsworth and Westminster takes action to address the growing issue of mental health problems among children and young people.
We are delighted to announce that in partnership with Central London CCG and Westminster City Council, we are shortly launching a new service that puts Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs) directly in to schools. Service Lead, Nada Calovska said, ‘At at time when 3 children in every class of 30 has a diagnosable mental health problem, the service could not be more needed, or more timely.’
Starting later this month, the MHSTs will work with children as young as 5 years old across a range of primary, secondary and special schools, as well as alternative education provision, sixth form colleges and further education for young people. Each team will employ specially trained staff members who are trained to support children and young people with low to moderate mental health and well-being issues. The work will include group work and guided self-help.
This ground-breaking service, part of the national Trailblazers programme, has been conceived and funded as a direct result of Children and Young People’s Mental Health green paper. To find out more about the national programme visit https://www.england.nhs.uk/mental-health/cyp/trailblazers/
Starting university is a major life transition. It can be both exciting and overwhelming. Students must manage multiple academic and social pressures, and navigate developmental challenges as they transition to adulthood. Students today are also faced with unique concerns compared to students in the past. This includes the stress of unprecedented financial burden from student loans and increased tuition fees, and the potentially negative consequences on wellbeing of the use of digital technologies and social media.
Recent statistics reveal the extent of the student mental health crisis in the UK. In 2015/16, over 15,000 first-year students in UK universities reported that they had a mental health problem, compared to approximately 3,000 in 2006.6
This increase in disclosure is mirrored by a 94% of higher education institutions reporting an increase in demand for their counselling services. Despite the surge in those seeing help, there is contradictory evidence to suggest that there are many more students who do not seek treatment for mental health problems.
There are a range of implications of worsening mental health among students. Poor mental health has been associated with poorer academic outcomes, as students tend to be less able to effectively manage stress and pressure and, thus, their ability to perform given tasks productively is diminished.They may also be more likely to drop out; statistics highlight a 210% increase in university dropouts among students with mental health problems between 2009/10 and 2014/15.6 Of even greater concern is that student suicides have increased by 79% between 2007 to 2015.
The good news is that student mental health is being pushed higher up the government’s agenda. In 2018 the University Mental Health Charter was introduced and a working group to support students transitioning from school into university/college was formed. Whilst this package was promising the results to date show little impact and a more proactive approach needs to be taken at government, NHS and higher education level.
This includes universities adopting a whole-university approach to student mental health, which should be informed by best practice. Universities and higher education institutions should seek to implement currently available programmes to strengthen the current evidence base and identify what refinements are required.
Addressing mental health in students can have a positive effect on mental health in later life. By ensuring student mental health is treated as a societal concern, we can encourage early intervention and action.
By intervening early, at a critical transition point in young people’s lives, we can avoid the long-term risks associated with poor mental health, which can have far-reaching consequences for the next generation.
University data shows long delays, raising fears young people’s mental welfare will decline in the interim.
Students with mental health problems are being forced to wait up to 12 weeks for help from their university, prompting fears that some may take their own lives during the delay. Sir Norman Lamb, the ex-health minister who obtained the data, said such long delays for care for conditions such as anxiety and depression could prove seriously damaging to undergraduates.
Lamb said: “Twelve-week delays to start counselling are scandalous, particularly when we know that so many students are taking their own lives, that’s longer than a university term. Universities with these long waiting times need to remember that students suffering from mental health conditions very often need help as a matter of real urgency. The risk is that their mental welfare will decline even further while they wait and wait for care and support.”
Universities have been heavily criticised for the mental health provision they offer undergraduates, as the number of them seeking help has soared in recent years. Students’ struggles can lead to them dropping out, doing poorly academically or killing themselves. An estimated 95 students in higher education took their own lives in the 12 months to July 2017 in England and Wales.
Reported student mental ill-health has increased fivefold since 2010. Research has found that one in five (22%) students has been diagnosed with a mental ailment and that even more (34%) have struggled with a psychological issue with which they felt they needed professional help.In addition, 45% use drink or drugs to help them cope with problems, 43% worry often or all the time and 9% think about self-harming often or all the time.
Responding to Lamb’s findings, Simon Thompson, CEO of Mind in Brent, Wandsworth and Westminster said: “The variance of care for this vulnerable group is worrying. Mental health support and counselling for students should be a priority for all Further Education providers. We are currently working with some of London’s leading FE providers, and know first-hand, the transformative power that successful student counselling services have. We encourage those organisations with long-wait lists and limited outcome data to reconsider their approach urgently.“
Mind in Brent, Wandsworth and Westminster is excited to announce a new partnership with national Mind and Goldman Sachs called ‘Building Mentally Healthy Universities’. We have been chosen to work with the London School of Economics and Political Science to deliver this programme which focuses on building resilience, knowledge and openness around mental health for LSE students and staff. The programme aims to better equip students to manage the impact of university life on their mental health and to transition from university to employment. They will support the existing work at LSE around creating a culture of openness and support around mental health. This exciting new programme helps deliver our aims and ensure that we all have access to the support we need, at the time, and in the place that we need it.
Everything we say and do is rooted in the experiences of people who know what it’s like to live with a mental health problem. That includes the thousands of people who rely on our local services, our incredible supporters, fundraisers, volunteers, staff and trustees. Their experiences bring our work to life. We provide life-saving and life-changing services when people need it most. Read our annual review for an overview of key achievements this year:
Every year, mental health support organisations around the world celebrate #WorldMentalHealthDay on 10th October. World Mental Health Day is an important day in our calendar, where we campaign to raise awareness of mental wellbeing in our community, and work to break stigma and empower those experiencing a mental health difficulty. (more…)
Our CEO Janice Horsman gives a talk about mental health in the armed forces. (more…)
A huge thank you to the following organisations who are supporting us by donating items, gifts-in-kind, pro-bono support and funds. We are extremely grateful for your support both by donating items and in believing in our cause and helping to raise awareness of the work that we do. Great things happen when the third-sector and corporates can come together for a common cause – thank you to these wonderful companies.
Coca Cola London Eye Experience
The Condiment Co
Covington & Burling LLP
Talking about your mental health can be difficult – you may struggle to find the words. Poetry can be an extremely powerful and cathartic tool for processing painful emotions and for moving into a more positive and mental well frame of mind. This poem explores the physical manifestation of mental pain, and ends on a hopeful note, full of future promise, motivation and inner strength !
Damaged and irreversible
No chance for change
Like the clouds that wander in the open sky
Visible to all, and in plain sight
Your Honor, I present to you the hideous scar
A multitude of questions running the human mind
Like grains of sand
My scars feature daily in the morning, noon and evening slot of every news outlet
They announce me
Not always a true reflection of me
But always the first thing that you see
The paint may fall from the outside walls of the castle
But from where you’re standing, you’ll never know
Who’s home dreaming great dreams
Maybe even writing great lyrics
A story is found in theses scars
Though it appears ugly and dark
Weather beaten, greatly marred
To the worlds physical eyes
Even on sunny afternoons summer light
Behold, these scars narrate my journeys and adventures
The paths I’ve walked upon
Where I’ve been burned
I hope to rise above these scars
Managing at the moment with Talking Therapies
Won’t let the painful memories and feelings
By Akin Olusanya
This poem was written as part of our mental health awareness week campaign, helping to bring awareness and break down stigma regarding mental health. Community Navigator, Akin, often writes wonderful poetry about mental health ; he put pen to paper to illustrate the growing need for men to be able to talk about their experiences and open up when they are struggling.
My soul is burdened, seems like I’m in the dark
And my mind, overwhelmed
A man with great pride
Had all, lost all,
Everything in me yelling for help
Remember growing up
as a young male,
the world telling me
Always be strong
Now I’m down on life’s luck
A man going on to thirty four
With no navigation to weather the storm
Strange, now I’m losing my sleep
No more appetite to eat
My once good health
Anxiety. Depression, bipolar personality disorder,
These are very real
My admonishment therefore is to men:
Let’s all speak up, rise, seek help
Get counselling, embrace therapy
Know that MIND cares
Poem written by Akin Olunsanya