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Stem4 supporting teenage mental health

Celebrating with Dr Nihara Krause, CEO of stem4: The theme of World Mental Health Day on 10 October this year is ‘Mental Health in an Unequal World’ and it has taken the pandemic to bring into the harsh spotlight the inequalities that exist in society, never more so than in terms of focus and support of mental ill health. Stem4 is a Wimbledon, South West London, based teenage mental health charity. Their recent survey of 1000 young people found that six in ten (63%) young people aged between 13 and 21 are experiencing mental health difficulties, such as anxiety, low mood, eating disorders and self-harming behaviours. Only half of all young people have the courage to talk about their problems and ask for help, and when they do seek help (29% of all young people), less than half (13%) receive the treatment they need to get well.

Photo Keira Burton
Help and treatments are in urgent need

There is no doubt an urgent need for a range of different treatments for young people but also guidance and support for their families. Whilst the problem needs ongoing address at the source, stem4 have worked tirelessly over the pandemic taking steps to minimise this disparity. In addition to a range of resources including booklets on dealing with your mental health over the pandemic translated into 6 languages, a huge amount of information for various audiences on our website, online conferences for parents and carers and teachers and a comprehensive digital mental health education programme for secondary schools now downloaded by over 1000 UK schools and colleges, stem4 have also four, clinician created, mental health apps.

To help so many children and young people experiencing mental health difficulty and long waiting times to access effective, evidenced based treatments, stem4has also developed four smartphone apps. These are all based on evidence-based strategies and approved by the NHS to help as an additional early intervention tool. Since the start of the pandemic, stem4’s apps have been downloaded and used by over a million young people and their families.

So, whilst there is concern about the rising amount of people presenting with mental ill health there is also cause for cautious optimism. There is acknowledgement about the need to focus on mental health intervention at all levels. Digital development and delivery has accelerated an acknowledgement on the need to focus on the mental health needs of marginalised groups. On our 10th birthday, coinciding with World Mental Health, join us in our endeavour to enhance and improve the mental health of young people so they can thrive.

Follow stem4 on Instagram at @stem4org

For more help and information on stem4 click here

Shawmind aims to train 150 000 teachers in basic mental health awareness

“Generation after generation has been let down through the lack of normalization of mental health. At Shawmind it is our objective to change these decades of failings and ensure that no other generation is failed ever again.” – Adam Shaw, founder of Shawmind

Darling spoke to Peter Wingrove, CEO of Shawmind: In 2016 Adam Shaw started Shawmind to achieve this vision; in 2017 the charity raised enough signatures to force a Parliamentary debate which led to compulsory children’s mental health education in schools from the September 2020 school year.

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Photo Kate Smith

Shawmind’s Headucation2025 programme aims to get 150,000 teachers trained in basic mental health awareness, to protect the mental health of 2.5 million school children per year. Working with others, we are bringing a whole school approach to mental health in schools, and thanks to the generosity of companies and individuals in the community, we are pleased to bring as many of these resources as possible to schools completely free of charge.

At the recent launch of our Lu-Ma Breathe Café, a space for people to have real conversations around mental health, Shawmind president Dr. James Espey OBE committed to making the Borough of Merton the first in London to have all teachers trained in basic mental health awareness. This initiative is supported by The Worshipful the Mayor of Merton, Mike Brunt, and the former leader of the Merton Council Cllr. Stephen Alambritis.

The mental health training is designed to allow teachers to work through the training at their own pace online, although they require an 80% accuracy rate in order to be CPD-certified. They can revisit any part of the course to strengthen their knowledge.

To find more information on Headucation and Shawmind click here

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