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Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust says demand for mental health support for young people is rising as Spalding advocate Vanessa Browning highlights need during Mental Health Awareness Week

An advocate for improving mental health in a community aims to highlight the need for young people to access more support.

Vanessa Browning, founder of Community Mind Matters in Spalding is keen to bring attention the challenges that children face during Mental Health Awareness Week, which starts today (Monday).

Vanessa Browning is the founder of Community Mind Matters. PHOTO: SUBMITTED
Vanessa Browning is the founder of Community Mind Matters. PHOTO: SUBMITTED

Vanessa is calling for more services to be provided to help youngsters in the area.

She said: “There is not enough done for children.

“There needs to be services for young people and not just adults.

Vanessa Browning. PHOTO: SUBMITTED
Vanessa Browning. PHOTO: SUBMITTED

“There can be a three-week waiting list to see a mental health professional but a young person needs a quick chat with a mental health nurse or a doctor.

“We have these mental health nurses who have just a quick chat - things have got to change - it is not working.”

The life coach also feels that schools are a good starting point for discussing mental health issues and that waiting lists can put youngsters off from talking to professionals and that the system needs to be improved.

She said: “I am hoping one day I will be doing talks in schools as there should be more mental health discussion in schools.

“That conversation can open doors for youngsters and there should be more mental health discussion in schools.”

Mrs Browning feels that more could be done to support the work of Young Minds Charity and suggests that the pandemic has had a longer lasting effect on young people.

She said: “They are an amazing charity for help and support.

“During the pandemic so many people couldn't interact with their friends.

“It did affect the young ones and they missed out on a lot.”

Mental Health Awareness week will help to bring more attention to these issues — and has been a fixture in the diary for the last 23 years.

Vanessa said: “It is my busiest week to be able to show that awareness.

“It is important to highlight to people that it is okay to access help and not to be afraid.”

A project at St Paul’s Church in Spalding, every Friday from 10am-2pm, allows volunteers to get involved with gardening and have a chat and a cuppa.

Mrs Browning added: “We have new projects coming up which are all mental health based.

“We always try to let people have a safe space.

“We are always looking for more volunteers and people to give us a hand.”

Amy Butler, head of children and young people services at Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Demand for mental health services for children and young people has increased since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We have several mental health support teams, who work closely with selected education settings across the county to provide early intervention support to children and young people aged between five and 18 years old.

“Support is delivered in a variety of ways, including through workshops, assemblies and parent and carer sessions to help support children to thrive emotionally and equip them with tools and strategies to deal with life’s everyday challenges. These can include the transition to new schools, exam stress, worries, angry feelings, low mood, or the emotional impact of bullying.

“The teams also work closely with school staff, helping to develop schools’ own approach to providing mental health and wellbeing support to their pupils.

“Anyone seeking support, whether children and young people themselves or parents, carers and professionals can contact us via our free 24/7 Here4You advice line on 0800 234 6342, where our Access Team can offer advice and support.”

For further information visit Community Mind Matters on Facebook.

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