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Youth mental health referrals on the up as cost-of-living crisis hits Liverpool hard

Tuesday, 4 October, 2022

Youth mental health referrals on the up as cost-of-living crisis hits Liverpool hard


Liverpool youth development charity, Positive Futures are warning of the increasing impact the cost-of-living crisis is having on mental health related referrals for children as young as 8.

Based in Liverpool, Positive Futures provide a Targeted Support Service to young people and their families who are finding life hard and are reporting that last year’s already high level of 46% of referrals being related to mental health is already increasing, with poverty, fueled by the cost-of-living crisis, a major contributor.

Clare Corran, CEO at Positive Futures highlighted: “We see first-hand how poverty and wealth, or lack of, affects the mental health and wellbeing of young people. Mental health concerns including anxiety, depression, low mood, suicidal ideation, self-harm, and disordered eating accompanied by the added pressure of low income and rising costs, and pressures that places on young people and their families is truly heartbreaking. We’re so pleased to be able to help, but our waiting list is growing and we desperately need funding to appoint further dedicated Mental Health workers, as we don’t want young people thinking there is nobody they can turn to.”

Each young person helped has a different story, take Connor for example, who used to spend all his time in his bedroom and was referred to Positive Futures with extreme social anxiety. Over a 9 month period he was encouraged out of his bedroom to 1-2-1 sessions in his lounge, which progressed to coming to the Positive Futures activity centre with his mum initially, then growing in confidence he started attending activity and 1-2-1 sessions without his mum. He now attends a few nights per week, has made new friends and even took part in summer holiday activities including a trip to London. An absolutely amazing transformation thanks to the support of the charity.

Another success story is Josh, who after meeting Tom from the Positive Futures Targeted Support Team started a boxing programme to improve both his mental and physical strength. He went on to ask for 1-2-1 support, attended sessions including skiing and snowboarding – first at Manchester’s Chill Factore, then in France, and over the last couple of years has overcome mental health issues to firstly volunteer and now become an Apprentice Youth Development Worker with Positive Futures to help other young people.

Positive Futures have launched their Big Give Christmas fundraising campaign ‘Mental Wealth support for young people’ which provides matched funding for all donations received between 29th November and 6th December. Every penny counts and the charity are asking businesses and individuals alike to ‘save the date and the link’ to their fundraising page https://tinyurl.com/PF-big-give-22  to donate during this period, when every £1 will be doubled by The Big Give. They have an ambitious £40k target which will be used to obtain much needed additional mental health resources to support the growing list of young people needing this help.

Positive Future’s approach of working with young people at the right time, right place, for as long as they need, so they are empowered to achieve their potential provides a unique blend of individual, family, and activity based sessions to hundreds of young people aged 8-25 across Liverpool.

How can you get involved?

Donations to Positive Futures ‘Mental ‘Wealth’ support for young people’ campaign will be generously matched by The Big Give’s Champions during the campaign, meaning your money can support twice as many young people.

Can I come see what Positive Futures do?

We know that people who visit and see first hand the work we do, and meet with our young people are blown away, and welcome visits between 4.30-8pm on 27th October, or 10th/24th November. If you’d like to come along simply phone 0151 207 6003 or email info@positivefutures.org.uk.

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