Children’s Mental Health Week falls between 7 to 13th February this year. To mark this important event in the school calendar, Dorset Mind charity’s children and young people division, ‘Dorset Mind Your Head’ (DMYH), is marking the week with a series of mental health workshops and activities focussing on building resilience at Dorchester Middle School.
On Saturday, at the end of the week, the school hopes to encourage their staff, students, and parents to take part in The Great Field Park Run, where they are hoping to raise vital funds to help the charity continue their work supporting vulnerable young people.
It’s widely acknowledged that most young people do not get the treatment they need.
And in the pandemic, this problem escalated due to problems accessing support. It was extremely challenging for children and young people and distressing for parents with concerns over wait times for support.
Young Minds recently reported a 134% increase of referrals to mental health services for under 18’s between June and April 2021. And, as much as they try to help – demand for statutory services is overwhelming. There are currently 374,000 young people on the official NHS UK waiting list for support.
And this is where charities such as Dorset Mind can help.
Dorset Mind’s new CEO, Linda O’Sullivan explains, “The isolation and restrictions of lockdown proved detrimental for young people’s mental health as they were denied contact with their peers and network of support.
We found that young people struggled to connect with online support, but they still required help at their time of need – and without long waiting times. As a direct response to this demand, DMYH created a weekly Wellbeing Check-in service which allows vulnerable children the platform to speak to someone regularly about their mental health.
This service continues today. We’re exceedingly grateful to the funding support we receive from grant organisations and the efforts of our local communities and schools like Dorchester Middle School, as this enables us to continue delivering our programme free of charge.”
Dr Andrew Mayers, Patron for Dorset Mind and a mental health expert at Bournemouth University said “Dorset Mind Your Head is one of the success stories at Dorset Mind. As an ambassador for children’s mental health, I welcome the work that is done support young people’s wellbeing across Dorset. The recent data from Young Minds is a matter of concern, but I am confident that we are well placed at Dorset Mind to meet that challenge. Having support likes this from Dorchester Middle School will help us achieve that.”
DMYH has, since 2018, supported over 70 of 173 schools in Dorset, educating young people on how to look after their mental health – and parents, carers, and teachers on how to support them. So far, DMYH have reached over 24,000 young people within Dorset which would not be made possible without funding.
DMYH’s programme of education and wellbeing support is made possible with generous funding from The National Lottery, BBC Children in Need, The Freemasons Foundation and Dorset Health Trust.
During Children’s Mental Health Week, DMYH wants to encourage Dorset to help raise awareness and fundraise for their mental health services. If you’d like to make a donation, visit https://bit.ly/DMYHDonate today.
Find out more about DMYH’s range of 1-2-1 and group support and education at dorsetmindyourhead.co.uk/services.