Young mental health champions sought to support mental health sufferers (From Burnley and Pendle Citizen)
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Young mental health champions sought to support mental health sufferers
3:10pm Wednesday 2nd October 2013 in News
A TEAM of 90 young ‘champions’ are being recruited to support peers with mental health.
Mindfit North West, a Big Lottery funded not-for-profit organisation, hopes to raise awareness of mental health issues by training students or volunteers to become ‘mental health first aiders’.
The project will operate in Hyndburn, Ribble Valley, Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale.
Jane Summers, director of Mindfit, a social enterprise said: “We decided to gear the scheme towards students and community volunteers as we thought that they would have the most impact.
“They are people that are working or studying alongside young people everyday who may be vulner- able to mental health problems.“ Research has shown that a lot of people who suffer with mental health problems, first experienced difficulties in their adolescence and often young people don’t know where to turn. Our Youth Mental Health Champions will be trained in how to identify young people that may be in distress and the best way to engage with them.
“They will also act as champions for mental health awareness in their communities and educational settings so that any young person that may feel as though they are suffering will know that there is support.”
The news comes ahead of World Mental Health Day on October 10.
The champions must be over 16, a student in higher education or a community volunteer working with an organisation, and studying or volunteering within East Lancashire.
Training space has been provided for free by Burnley Fire and Rescue and other agencies to conduct the sessions, which will begin on November 5.
Jane and her two Mindfit partners, Susan Thorley and Lynn Marie Flynn, set up the enterprise after working in the mental health field.
Anyone who wants to become a Youth Mental Health Champion, should call Jane on 01282 712223.
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