We recognise the huge impact that poor mental health is having on the young people of England and Wales. Work carried out through focus groups tells us that mental health is the biggest health related issue for young people, with social media, finding work and affording somewhere to live all contributing to increased pressure on those that we work with.

Through our local association network we provide mental health services to 17,000 young people each year through a mix of knowledge and awareness workshops, family mediation and therapeutic services.

Our Mental Health Champions programme is a comprehensive programme that aims to improve the mental health of young people aged 11 to 21.

Developed thanks to a Department for Education grant, Mental Health Champions offers three key services:

  • Peer support programme in schools and the community
  • Key adult education and awareness workshops
  • Counselling service.

By using three interconnected strands, the project helps to raise awareness and destigmatise mental health issues. It offers a fully quality assured counselling service and improves the knowledge and support that key adults, including teachers and parents, can offer the young people with whom they work.

If you are interested in either delivering or commissioning an impactful, youth-focused mental health programme or supporting other YMCA mental health services, then please contact Graham.Oatridge@ymca.org.uk.