Although you may not have suffered from mental health issues yourself, it’s extremely likely you know someone who has but you didn’t know they were struggling. It’s a taboo subject for many and that is where the problem starts - the fear of talking about it. People, especially teenagers, might not want to talk to their friends, through fear of ridicule or what their friends might think. Accepting you have a problem and reaching out for help is the first step, but probably the hardest step to take.
Although I haven’t suffered from mental health issues, there are people close to me who have and I know how devastating it can be.
If you do accept you need help and are brave enough to ask for it, where do you go? If you’re a parent of a teenager with mental health issues, it can be terrifying. There isn’t enough help out there and the waiting times for help on the NHS can be up to 6 months. It seems mental health isn’t treated as seriously as physical ailments and anyone who has experience of it know all too well it can be a life or death situation. There have been well-documented cuts to mental health provisions in England which means mental health charities are all the more important and desperately need our support.
A charity local to me called The Young Peoples Counselling Service (YPCS) offers free counselling for 11-16yr olds. They only use fully trained and qualified counsellors and accept referrals from parents, schools, doctors and the children themselves. They have short wait times compared to NHS services and offer each child a course of 12 one-to-one sessions.
The cost of private counselling is £45+ per session, which means that a lot of parents face a decision of either long NHS wait times for their children to be seen or an additional financial burden of up to £200 a month (considering weekly sessions). This is the reason that YPCS was born - to help individuals and families in these situations.
YPCS receives no government funding and is a not-for-profit charity which means that every single penny raised goes straight back into directly helping young people in the local community. There is NO financial wastage!
It costs us £360 to provide a child with 12 sessions of counselling.
I decided last October I wanted to enter the Great Eastern Run half marathon after being inspired watching the runners who took part last year. I’m not a natural long distance runner so this will be a challenge for me. I wanted to do some good whilst torturing myself and decided I wanted to help a local charity. My wife told me about the YPCS and it instantly felt like the right charity for me.
So my training starts here and so does my request for generous donations to help a much underfunded but needed service. I’m hoping to raise £1080 which will be enough to give three teenagers 12 sessions.
Please give generously and help this charity continue its great work.