Providing accessible information online is vital to be able to support a diverse range of people. Mental Health Awareness Week enables YoungMinds and Recite Me to shine aspotlight on the help that is available to young people with their mental health.
Recite Me caught up with YoungMinds to ask a few questions regarding mental health services and the importance of providing accessibility information online…
What work do you do at Young Minds and what support do you provide to young people?
At YoungMinds, we are leading the movement to sure every young person gets the mental health support they need, when they need it, no matter what. Through reassuring tips, advice and real-life stories on our website and social media channels, we give young people tools to look after their mental health. We also provide training courses, a parent’s helpline and resources to empower adults to be the best support they can be to the young people in their lives.
Why was it important to Young Minds to provide an inclusive online experience?
We all have mental health, and it’s likely that we will all have times in our life when we struggle with how we are feeling and thinking. We know that when a young person is finding things difficult, the advice and information on our website can help them feel valid and less alone – and it’s important to us that all young people are able to access this. Unfortunately, there can be many barriers for young people to access the support they need from mental health services. We want to do all we can to minimise these barriers, and help a young person feel seen, valued, and comforted at a time they are struggling; that’s why it’s so important to us that we provide an inclusive online experience.
What do you hope for the future of mental health services?
There is a lot of hard work going on across the NHS to improve access to mental health services and in recent years the Government has made ambitious commitments to increase spending on children and young people’s mental health, following years of underfunding. But even before the coronavirus pandemic, referrals to services were rising and too many young people couldn’t get support when they first needed it. We know that the pandemic has exacerbated this crisis, putting a huge strain on the NHS and leading to many young people not getting support early enough to prevent their mental health from deteriorating. We know how vital early support is, and the earlier a young person gets it, the more effective that support will be. This is why we want early support to be available in communities, and for the Government to invest in early intervention and prevention so that young people get help as soon as they need it.