Mental Health Awareness Week is upon us and although the focus this year is on connecting with nature, we are taking a step back in this post to focus on mental health and what No5 are doing to help support young people with their mental health.

It is first important to note that everyone has mental health, it is the same as our physical health and no one will have perfect health of either everyday of their lives and it is unrealistic to expect this.

The last year has seen a lot of added pressure on everyone’s mental health and especially that of young people with the lockdown limited and reduced access to education, restrictions on socialising, and worrying about family members work and health. This has meant that some people have struggled with their mental health for the first time and as a young person this can be worrying and even scary.

In ‘The Impact of COVID-19 – The Voice of Young People’ report, our Young Ambassadors highlighted the impact the pandemic has had on them and their experiences. Below is some of what they shared:

“I was really worried about my grandparents, friends and family who lived alone, and the impact of lockdown on their lives.”

“I felt anxious and loneliness was starting to sink in – friends started becoming more distant due to them starting to feel this way too as well as us lacking topics to talk about and activities to do remotely. What made these feelings even harder was not having my support network of my friends around me.”

“I had a particularly rough time trying to finish my dissertation in lockdown – it felt like I had this massive and impossible task and I was on my own. Due to my mental health, I already really struggle with concentrating and motivating myself. Going to the library and having a sperate study environment helped me when I had deadlines, but that was taken away.”

“I had been in the dark and anxious mindset before and didn’t want to stay there again.”

This impact of the pandemic has been echoed in the number of referrals No5 are receiving. In the last 6 months, 439 young people and their families have asked for our help, which is a 123% increase on the same period last year. We have been trying to meet these young people, with 284 counselling sessions delivered and 141 young people seen in April and 507 counselling sessions delivered and 198 young people seen in March!

Our Young Ambassadors have also created postcards, that will be sent to young people who join the waiting the list, sharing their own personal tips and to help the young person feel less alone. They have also run their #MakeitForMay campaign again this year, encouraging people to embrace their creativity through inspiring prompts and themed weeks.

Supporting young people in these ways is not possible without your help. Become a donor and help us to meet more local young people.

Here is how your contribution will directly help a local young person:

  • £5 pays for two postcards from our Young Ambassadors sharing support and advice
  • £15 pays for a helpline support call
  • £35 pays for a counselling session with a young person aged 11-18