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Friday, February 23, 2024

Mental Health Support Needed From Younger Age Than Ever Before

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A mental health charity in the north of Scotland is celebrating a year of collaboration and partnership with local primary school pupils, teaching staff and parents to mark Children’s Mental Health Week (February 6-12).

Building on this year’s theme – ‘let’s connect’ – Highland charity Mikeysline is reflecting on a year of building stronger connections with youth groups and improved mental health services in 21 primary schools in the north of Scotland, in addition to its existing work with secondary schools in the region.

Emily Stokes, CEO of Mikeysline, said:

“One in six children aged 5-16 years struggles with their mental health, but unfortunately 75% of these young people won’t receive the help they need.

“That’s why it’s incredibly important to Mikeysline that we give young people in our communities the support they need from an early age. 

“Over the past year, in our work with primary schools, we’ve spoken with 1,920 pupils, 168 staff and 154 parents through workshops, 1:1 meetings, training sessions and interactive activities  – each promoting positive messages about managing emotions and mental health.” 

Staff and volunteers from the charity have also worked with schools to develop resources to be used in the classroom and the wider school community, including topics like social anxiety, emotions, self-esteem and coping strategies.

In addition, the charity has seen great success in the recruitment of 19 youth champions from P7. 

Emily continued:

“Our P7 youth champions have been fantastic in their new roles and have really made a difference to their school communities by spreading our message and encouraging other young people to seek the help and advice they need if they are struggling with their mental health.”

Mikeysline’s work with primary schools follows on from its existing partnerships with 32 secondary schools across the Highlands and Moray, with four additional secondary schools linking up with the charity in the last few months for weekly one-to-one support sessions for pupils.

Through these partnerships, Mikeysline is able to provide support on a weekly basis, working with student councils, staff and individual pupils, as well as supporting 94 secondary youth champions across its network.

Since 2015, Mikeysline has offered confidential, non-judgemental support to people of all ages with mental health issues or in emotional distress in the Highlands and Moray via a text line service at 07786 207755, WhatsApp on 01463 729000, as well as via live chat, Twitter and Messenger.

The charity also offers face-to-face support from four Hives across the area – at its Inverness headquarters, and in Tain, Alness and Nairn. 

If your school is not yet working with Mikeysline and would like further information on its youth services, please contact the team at enquiries@mikeysline.co.uk.

For more information about the charity, visit www.mikeysline.co.uk – or find Mikeysline on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

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