Mental health charity Lancashire Mind has launched an emergency funding appeal to support children and young people across the county after seeing a 116% increase in demand for their services since January 2021.
The charity’s emergency appeal aims to raise £10,000 to help deliver much needed support within the county as young mental health referrals have doubled in England, with waiting lists growing and private psychiatrists reporting a surge in self-funded patients*.
Emma Bateson, fundraising lead at Lancashire Mind, said: “Children's mental health services were stretched before the pandemic and since March 2020, we have seen such an increase in demand. It is often the case now that only the most unwell can be helped.
“Lancashire Mind aims to relieve the pressure on these services and reach children before their mental health worsens. This is the first time we have directly asked for donations but we feel we must act now. Providing support when so many children have been affected by the pandemic is absolutely vital to protecting the health, wellbeing and future prospects of our young people.”
Working closely with schools and community groups, Lancashire Mind’s schools’ partnership team support, educate and promote mental health resilience from early years, all the way up to young adults at college and university.
The team believe that working closely with schools and community groups enables the charity to educate teachers, carers and parents to recognise, and positively address, the early signs of mental health conditions.
Tommy McIlravey, Chief Executive at Lancashire Mind, said: “Children and young people have been significantly affected by the pandemic.
“50% of mental health conditions develop before the age of 14, and 7 out of 10 children and young people who experience a mental health condition have not had appropriate support at an early enough age, making the support we offer in schools and youth groups a key ingredient to preventing future mental health conditions.
“Every penny raised for our emergency appeal will stay within Lancashire and help us to deliver reactive and preventative mental health support during and beyond the pandemic.
“It is imperative that we act now and support our children and young people through these turbulent, uncertain times. Every child and young person deserve to have access to the relevant support when and should they need it.”
To give what you can to Lancashire Mind’s fundraising appeal visit https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/ChildrenandYoungPeoplesEmergencyAppeal