The gap in youth mental health provision

The number of people in England with common mental health problems, especially children aged 5-15 is rising. High risk groups include those experiencing traumatic experiences or facing social disadvantage, discrimination, or social exclusion.

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% of 5-15 year olds with a diagnosed mental health problem
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spent on child mental health in 2018-19
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average no. of days' waiting time for NHS treatment

Early intervention is vital

We meet young people needing support in Oasis Academies and Community Hubs, in our food programmes, advice centres, youth groups and family support groups.

We have youth workers attached to A & E departments of two London hospitals who mentor young people with anxiety or depression.

Long waits for treatment

There can be such a long wait for young people to be able to access support services, that we often see them ending up in places like A&E because they reach a crisis point,’ says Cat Still, Youth Worker and Project Manager at Oasis Hadley in North-East London.

In 2018, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAHMS) were only able to treat a third of the of the 338,000 children referred them. Another third went on to long waiting lists and the rest were deemed ‘not serious enough’ to receive treatment.

People are turning to schools and charities like Oasis and the private sector to get help.

 

Talk It Out - wellbeing drop-ins

To help tackle gaps in mental health support, Oasis is launching an appeal to expand our current youth mental health provision for 5-16-year-olds in as many of our Community Hubs as possible.

‘We will offer a safe and friendly space for young people offering workshops, art and craft-based therapy,’ says mental health youthwork manager, Cat Still. ‘Somewhere quiet to think or simply have a drink and chat with a person who will listen and try to help work things out.’

Oasis’s strong track record

We already have a tried and tested mental health support structure in place in many Oasis Community Hubs, all with strong links to our Academies serving 30,000 children and young people.

We work closely with health, education and care plans, and local authority services for people with learning disabilities and those in care.

Young people tell us they are scared,’ says Cat Still, ‘others say they have no future. Their parents often lack the skills to cope. At Oasis, we’re in a position to move quickly and ensure vital early intervention for young people where needed.’

Don't smother me!

Don’t keep asking ‘are you OK?’ Ask me once, then let it go. I’ll raise the issue when I’m ready. Don’t smother me.

I just bottle it up

My Mum’s generation didn’t talk about mental health. We all know there’s a problem, but we pretend it isn’t there. I just get on with my gaming.

We need someone we can trust

If I’m very anxious, I want to talk to someone I trust, who will really listen and help me work through solutions.