As Mental Health Awareness Week continues, today, we invited someone close to the heart of CareTech Foundation to share their thoughts with us on this week and our partner – Barnardo’s. Today’s guest author is Saeed Atcha MBE, an adviser to CareTech Foundation but he is also a CEO, Social Mobility Commissioner and Trustee, all at the age of 22! Here are his thoughts…
At the CareTech Foundation we’re really proud of our partnership with Barnardo’s and during Mental Health Awareness Week we want to celebrate the work they’re doing with children and young people struggling with mental health difficulties.
The impact of mental health issues mustn’t be ignored. One in ten young people has a diagnosable mental health disorder, and children who live in poverty or poor housing are more likely to have mental health problems. Added to that, children whose parents have mental health problems often need special help themselves to cope and enjoy their childhood.
The services at Barnardo’s are designed to get help to young people as early as possible, before any mental health problems become acute. They run centres where children and young people can go and Barnardo’s make sure that each child has a worker they can trust and who they can talk to. These workers help children build their confidence and to address the root of their difficulties. They also work with their parents, making sure that parents feel supported.
As a care experienced young person myself, I know that mental health is a particular concern, especially at times of significant change for many of my peers. The transition out of care can be exciting but it can also be highly stressful and confusing. The experience often puts added strain on young people who are already dealing with difficult circumstances, potentially causing anxiety and a deterioration in mental well-being.
I’m proud as an Advisory Council member to the CareTech Foundation that our partnership with Barnardo’s sees a £1 million project to develop a ground-breaking digital resource to support young people leaving care. The app is aimed at boosting self-confidence in young people in care, especially when it comes to problem-solving. It is designed to improve access to support while also promoting self-reliance. By making effective advice and help available through the app, the partnership intends to offer assistance early, thereby reducing the need for crisis support at critical stress points. The app will also signpost employment and training opportunities as well as helping develop budgeting and financial management skills.
To find out more about Saeed, please visit – https://saeedatcha.co.uk/