Why I’m campaigning to End The Wait for mental health support, by Samara, 18

By Samara Siviter, Mental Health Correspondent, Jill Dando News

Mental Health. A silent pandemic ripping through the country. A pandemic which is destroying the lives of our young people as we are continued to be denied the support we need, writes new Mental Health Correspondent for Jill Dando News, Samara.

Since 2020, there’s been a 76% rise in referrals to CAMHS, a figure that roughly translates to 1.2 MILLION. This figure is devastating for me to read – not just as a Young Minds Activist – but also as a young person who herself was turned away in her time of need by our mental health support services, which continue to fail the young people of our country, day after day.

We at Young Minds are calling for three main changes:

Firstly, access to help early on.

For too long now, we as young people have had to wait until we’ve reached crisis point in order to obtain access to the services we need, a time which often causes long term deterioration of mental health. Early intervention hubs up and down the country, helping to ensure that we as young people can access support for any issues that arise: i.e. exam stress, family or friendship issues, whatever the issue is, ensuring young people can seek the guidance they need to navigate anything which could arise.

Secondly, support in schools.

Things such as specialist mental health training for teachers or mental health first aiders ready to assist any students so they can feel assured that seeking help isn’t something to be ashamed of. 

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And thirdly, but arguably the most important of all, that our NHS services are funded and equipped to meet the rising demands, ensuring that young people don’t feel alone. 

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In March of this year, we hosted a parliamentary event where we invited local MPs to come and talk with fifteen activists, including myself, about our own personal stories of being failed by the country’s mental health system and the change we would like to see.

This event was attended by Doctor Alex George, the mental health ambassador for 10 Downing street, as well as Roman Kemp who was obtaining footage for his upcoming BBC Three documentary centralising around the prism of young people’s mental health. 

Finally, if you would like to find out more about our campaign and the milestones we’ve achieved so far in our call for change and how you can help us ensure that the health minister finally takes action, please visit: https://www.youngminds.org.uk/support-us/join-the-movement/end-the-wait/

(Samara is the new Mental Health Correspondent for Jill Dando News. She was formerly a student of The King Alfred School Academy in Highbridge, Somerset, and its sixth form centre)

For more stories from Jill Dando News visit: http://www.goodnewspost.co.uk

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