- Growing its skilled workforce qualified to identify mental health issues in young people attending Youth Zones and support them or refer them for support.
- Increasing the provision of early intervention mental health services for 840 young people across a range of needs alongside OnSide’s other programmes which support members and their mental health
- Building partnerships with specialist mental health services to access external support/specialist services to address specific mental health needs.
- Using data gathered to evidence the positive impact of early intervention and sustainability of the project.
- 75% of respondents said that they found the current lockdown harder to cope with than the previous ones including 44% who said it said it was much harder.
- 67% believed that the pandemic will have a long-term negative effect on their mental health. This includes young people who had been bereaved or undergone traumatic experiences during the pandemic.
“I found lockdown really difficult. The Youth Zone’s welfare calls and activities kept me focused. I had told them that I previously had one evening of self‐harming and suicidal thoughts. They implemented a full action plan for me. I am now getting professional counselling which is helping me to adapt to a new way of living and a dedicated youth worker is supporting me through doorstep visits, mentoring and welfare calls”.As a result of these findings, Young Minds has suggested that the government ensure local charities and youth clubs, which provide vital early mental health support, survive the economic impact of pandemic. And, in the longer term, introduce a national network of community early intervention hubs, which provide open-access mental health support in non-medicalised settings. Programmes like Bridge the Gap fit into this recommendation by providing the mental health support, resources and structure young people will need as society opens back up. Kathryn Morley, Chief Executive of OnSide, said:
“The COVID-19 crisis has meant that, more than ever, our youth workers have been supporting the mental health and wellbeing of young people across the country. We are thrilled to have CareTech Foundation’s support which will help us reach even more young people with this programme.”Our CEO, Jonathan Freeman MBE, said:
"We are thrilled to be a contributing partner to this initiative. The mental health of young people needs to be prioritised right now and in the coming years. As we begin to gradually return to normalcy programmes like OnSide will be essential in addressing mental health issues in vulnerable communities."