Young People’s mental health never seems to be far from the news these days. Recently a BBC Panorama programme highlighted the issues facing young people’s mental health services across the country entitled “Kids in Crisis”
Barrie Voyce, Business Development Director at The Door, has written a Christian response to this for Youth and Children’s Work magazine. In it he highlighted that:
This year The Door’s referral rate has doubled. We are now mentoring over 50 young people at any one time. The majority have severe mental health issues or are under social care and at risk of being taken into the care system.
Never before have we had to deal with so many of the issues we face day-in-day-out. Young people like Amanda, who has repeatedly tried to commit suicide, and has been institutionalised several times in the past 3 years, or like Danny, who’s challenging home life has led him to a life of anti-social behaviour and crime. When he meets with his mentor he frequently breaks down in tears, recognising that his lifestyle is unacceptable, but not able to find a way to break free.
At the beginning of October, the BBC also published the results of its “Loneliness Experiment” Remarkably, the part of the population with the highest amount of loneliness are those aged 16-24. Whilst the survey didn’t engage with younger teenagers, it is clear that the problem runs deeper. Megan recalls:
“Even as a teenager, if you’re that lonely you don’t care who you talk to. I remember talking to a teacher who told me her cat had had kittens. Afterwards I thought, ‘That’s one less break time spent alone.'”
In a world judged by the amount of “friends” or “followers” on social media, it might seem surprising that young people can feel lonely or isolated. But again it is a situation which presents itself to us at The Door. We often meet young people like Haemish who’s life was so challenging he became a virtual recluse:
“It was a gradual decline – after a particularly bad day I didn’t go to school the next day. The next time I didn’t go back for a week. Every time it became harder and harder to face going back until eventually it felt like I was forced not to go back to school.”
Young people like Haemish, Megan, Danny and Amanda find support from The Door’s youthworkers and mentors life-changing. Through the time and care of our team they are able to face the challenges life has thrown at them, build their confidence and overcome the mental health issues which blight them.
As demand for our services continues to grow, we desperately need more volunteers and the finances to train them as mentors. Just £10 a month will help secure a brighter future for young people caught in the trap of mental health issues. Donate Now and change a life for the better.