Weʼve raised £140 to launch a charity that will completely change the status-quo of Mental Illness. Offering Mental Health support on tap without a wait
- Newbury, UK
- Funded on Wednesday, 31st October 2018
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I’m Conner. I’m 25 and have recently experienced life changing mental health problems. What does that mean?
I’m not ashamed to say that I’m currently undergoing treatment for PTSD, Depression and Anxiety. I have been suffering for the past 2 months since I came home to find that my best friend had attempted suicide - hence the PTSD. I spent 3 weeks in a mental health hospital and have tried to end my life 3 times.
I want to use my experience to help others like me. I intend to be an ambassador, a helper to those in need, a guide for people in their darkest hours. To do that I have set up a charity called Youngkind, which aims to offer meaningful support to the increasing number of young people who reach that point of crisis. How are we going to do that?
I found that it’s so difficult to find the right help that’s needed, when it's needed. The NHS, with all that’s great about it, just doesn’t have the resources to always help in a timely way. Long lead times, lack of professional access, it’s triage not treatment. As anyone that touches mental health issues knows - its a crisis and we need to think about a solution in a new way.
Out there are thousands of professionals that could help - but most of them are Private. In my case, which I think somewhat typical, I needed help urgently if I was to get better. The choice; stay under the NHS which would mean at least a 2 month wait for therapy, likely trapped in the hospital to ensure my own safety, or to go private. I was fortunate enough to be able take the second option with the help of my family. But even then the effort of organising therapy was a real challenge, not least to find a local, suitable professional with relevant skills and experience. It was hard. Could the average young person, perhaps without such support go through this successfully on their own? Could they afford to?
I believe a big part of the solution would be to harness all that Private resource and make it available in a private / public partnership, matched to the specific need, managed and free to the individual. How much resource are we talking about? Conservatively more than 200,000,000 hours per year.
I’ve already started a blog. Next we are going to create a service that details and lists the therapists, of which there are literally thousands, who register with Youngkind.
As a marketing specialist with skills in websites and app design and build, I will ensure the service is intuitive, searchable, selectable, private, comprehensive.
The approach will see the professional paying a fee to be on the database and then they will offer a discount to the charity, which must then raise sufficient funds to enable the treatment to be delivered at no cost. We’ll ensure appropriate certification, have a team to facilitate the initial conversations, check availability, enable appointments to be made online, and manage payment, but the relationship is always directly between the therapist and individual, we never get in the way.
I don’t want anyone to feel like they’re alone with such illness. So I’m going to help make a change for the better, but I really need help to build this charity that I’m certain will save lives and change the current status-quo of mental illness.
My website: www.youngkind.org.uk
My email: firstname.lastname@example.org
And my telephone number: 07717381783
Take a moment to think about this problem: 2.6 million UK citizens currently have an open referral within the mental health services. 560,000 of these people are under the age of 18 and 75% of those are not receiving treatment. This failure directly lead to over 6,000 under 18’s committing suicide in 2017, and that number is growing rapidly. Statistically and in reality the chances are that 25% of your friends/associates have children with mental health issues, whether that be Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar, Bulimia, Anorexia, PTSD etc.
Is this growing level of despair in young people acceptable to us? And it is “us” not “them”. It’s a problem we all need to solve.
Schools are becoming “waiting rooms” for children with mental health issues charities have warned, with a rising tide of young people unable to access the services they need.
Repeated funding cuts to the NHS, most often landing on this misunderstood sector of the health service, is set against growing demand, with the additional burden that treatment is often needed immediately following diagnosis. When that’s not available the backstop is admittance to a mental health hospital to make the young person safe, but the result is bed occupancy which has risen for the fourth consecutive year and is now standing at 94%.
By 2020/21 the Five Year Forward Plan is to have at least 70,000 more children and young people receiving access to high quality mental health care. The goal is for young people to have access to a caring, inclusive environment to promote and reinforce positive mental health.
Realistically the NHS can’t achieve this alone. A fundamental change in the way services are commissioned with a greater emphasis on prevention is called for with the NHS working with partners to fund and implement the whole system approach.
Youngkind are currently in discussions with the NHS, government officials, journalists, but the education sector is also where Youngkind believes we can make a real impact. It’s often at school that problems become visible, where the child can reach out, talk to friends and teachers. We need to be at that point of need. What we want to create is a practical referral programme where a teacher that identifies a risk to a student knows how to reach out to Youngkind so that professional support can be arranged immediately in partnership with the school as a trusted resource.
Youngkind has been set up in direct response to this growing need for national reform with the specific intent of unlocking the resources of over 10,000 counsellors, social workers and psychologists that provide private treatment in a patch work fashion today. If you’ve ever tried to find a therapist it’s hard. Do they have the experience and skills you need? Are they local? Are they available? Are they someone who the young person can bond with, trust? It’s a maze, it’s foreign, it’s often beyond the confidence and skills of those in need or their families to struggle through. And that’s before we think about cost.
In response, as our first phase we are developing ground-breaking technology to help a young person investigate and assess what they face and then to match them with an appropriate therapist to enable the delivery of immediate, appropriate, relevant, local help in partnership with the NHS and other institutions. We’ll use proven digital delivery channels and methods that the young are familiar with and have access to – an intuitive mobile app and a powerful web experience, leveraging AI, to provide search, reviews, video’s, summaries from the therapists of their focus and specialisation, Q&A, and links to other related services.
We are building on the successful experience of other digital business including on-line travel agents like Expedia and Trip Advisor and other booking unicorns like Uber and Airbnb, which have emerged to enable the link between the provider and the consumer.
We’ll use technology that is friendly and secure to provide the means for children that are currently being failed and can feel that self-harm or worse is the only way out to find the help they need, when they need it, confident that they are not alone.
That in itself is hugely valuable as step one. But now let’s talk cost. If the young person needing help has the ability, directly or through their family, to meet the cost of treatment, then they get the additional benefit of lower charges. Where they can’t meet some or indeed any of that fee, we’ll cover it. We will ask them to pledge that when they are well, back at work or able to repay, that they do so, to the best of their abilities, so that the “pot” can be refilled for the next child that needs help.
What we need to do then is raise funds through the public but also funding bodies that exist to help sponsor such charitable work. If we can help keep beds available through our efforts, avoiding all that cost, the NHS could be a source too as they rebalance where money is spent. To achieve this, we need a number of things, including the right help, partners, visibility and support.
Updates appear here
Conner Nudd started crowdfunding
Leave a message of support
Sep 29, 2018
Great cause and hope you Can make a change for those less fortunate!
Sep 23, 2018
Sep 21, 2018
This would be a great benefit to so many people. Literally a life saver.
Sep 11, 2018
Good stuff Conner - this is important work. I'm proud of you and what you're setting out to achieve.
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About the fundraiser
I'm currently going through the journey that I want to help. I have been diagnosed with PTSD, depression and suffer from anxiety. I have been lucky enough to have treatment privately with a psychologist, but my goal is to open up that private network to the entire Nation.