Set up by children’s mental health charity Place2Be, Children’s Mental Health Week shines a spotlight on the importance of children and young people’s mental health

The theme of this year's Place2Be Children’s Mental Health Week is Find your Brave.

Josephine McCartney, Chief Executive, Kent Community Foundation said, “The need for effective early interventions in the lives of children and young people who are struggling with mental ill health is one of the most pressing social needs in Kent and Medway today. In the last 25 years, rates of depression and anxiety amongst young people have increased by 70%.

"Although the voluntary sector is rising to the challenge of meeting these unmet needs, the funding available for children’s mental health is wholly inadequate and more money is needed from central government to ensure children and families are receiving the level of services they deserve."

In 2016, the government set a target for 70,000 additional children and young people each year to receive treatment for mental health until 2020-21. However, looking further into this number, even if this target is met there would still only be 35% of children and young people in England with diagnosable mental health issues receiving NHS-funded treatment.  

In the last financial year, Kent Community Foundation made over 85 grants to organisations working to improve children’s mental health and wellbeing.

During this awareness week Kent Community Foundation is highlighting the work of some of the charities helping and supporting children with mental health issues within Kent and Medway.

Place2BE, has provided mental health services in schools for over 25 years. They provide early support to spot mental health problems before they develop and help children cope with challenges throughout their lives. Since 2015, Place2BE has been awarded grants totalling £12,000 to support the work they do to enhance the wellbeing and prospects of children and young people by providing access to mental health services in schools. www.place2be.org.uk

Based in Maidstone, Dandelion Time supports children experiencing serious emotional and behavioural difficulties, resulting from trauma, abuse or domestic violence. They help children overcome these complex emotional issues, gain confidence and self-esteem and be better equipped to cope and engage at school, at home and in the community, ultimately improving their life chances and aspirations. Since 2005 Kent Community Foundation has awarded Dandelion Time grants totalling almost £100,000. www.dandeliontime.org.uk

The charity Fegans has been supporting mental health and championing childhood for 150 years. They offer specialist intervention work with vulnerable children and their families and provide professional counselling for children with issues including self-harm, eating disorders, anxiety, depression and anger issues. Since 2008 Kent Community Foundation has awarded Fegans grants totalling £122,000. www.fegans.org.uk

Community group Holding On Letting Go provide bereavement support to children and young people aged between 6 and 16 years old. These children who are struggling to cope are invited to a bereavement weekend, where a variety of activities is used to help the children express their emotions, including the 'anger wall', making memory boxes and music therapy. Kent Community Foundation has supported Holding On Letting Go since 2008 with grants totalling £101,000.

Josephine McCartney, continued, “During this awareness week we would love to hear from charities and community groups within Kent and Medway, working with children living with mental health issues who need our financial help and might want to discuss applying to us for a grant or an interest free loan."

Contact Natalie - Natalie@kentcf.org.uk 

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