By Samara, 19, Mental Health Corresponden
Samara is the Mental Health Correspondent for the Good News Post. She graduated from Jill Dando News at the inspirational The King Alfred School Academy Sixth Form in Highbridge, Somerset last September. Since then she has become our Mental Health Correspondent, an Ambassador for In Charley’s Memory and has become an activist with Young Minds. Here she reports on the incredible M&S partnership which she has been part of but warns there this ‘silent pandemic of mental health is ripping through the UK like a wildfire’.
I want to give massive thanks to M&S on this fantastic initiative to help Young Minds and the mental health of millions.
The retail giant M&S has also officially announce a £1m initial donation – and that alone will help to run the invaluable Young Minds Parents’ Helpline over the course of the next year.
This is huge.
This helpline is a service which I myself have seen first hand how many more people are coming to rely on. It’s a lifeline service as so many of us continue to struggle to navigate our way through this silent pandemic that continues to rip through the country like a wildfire.
This partnership will be the bridge of support for all of those hundreds of thousands of young people up and down the country, who still continue to struggle with their mental health on a daily basis.
Shockingly, as a result they are turned away from the help and support which they so desperately deserve.
Less than a month ago I went up to London, as part of my work as a media trained activist for Young Minds, alongside another activist from our cohort. We met up with singer and TV presenter Rochelle Humes in person. We also filmed a short piece on my own mental health journey and how Young Minds have been crucial into helping me become the person I am today and therefore cultivate the rapid personal growth I have endured since leaving sixth form last year.
Meeting the M&S representatives as well as the production team was surreal in some ways. But to know that you’re telling your story and showing other people that there is help out there despite how distant and bleak it can be made me feel incredibly lucky and privileged to be part of the community I am.
The partnership between M&S and national mental health charity Young Minds means we have a goal of raising £5 million for this wonderful organisation.
M&S also boosted this by an initial £1m donation to fund the charity’s work for a year.
But let’s not forget these dreadful statistics that should prompt people into action.
1) 65% of young people haven’t asked for any formal support, despite struggling with their mental health, with 33% stating they felt too embarrassed.
2) Loneliness is one of the biggest causes of mental health issues in young people, with 44% saying loneliness had a negative impact on their mental health.
3) And a staggering 61% of those waiting for mental health support had stopped attending school, college, university or work.
This partnership is huge. The core target of £5m will help double the number of adults and young people who are supported by Young Minds in their lives up to seven million which will be primarily through digital resources and the parent’s helpline.
Additionally, M&S will help its 30 million customers and 60,000 colleagues better understand how to open up conversations with those who are struggling as well as young people’s mental health.
For more stories from Samara and the Jill Dando News Team click: http://www.goodnewspost.co.uk