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Boost of £1m to support young people with mental health concerns | Sandwell Council

Boost of £1m to support young people with mental health concerns

Published 5th September 2022

A project led by Sandwell Council children's services has boosted help and support available to children and young people with mental health concerns.

Sandwell Council has teamed up with partners in the voluntary sector to award a £1m grant to organisations for the delivery of targeted help and support for young people.

There have been 13 organisations funded to complete programmes providing a broad range of support for young people aged five to 18, including one-to-one and group work, mentoring and counselling.

So far, more than 2,000 children have been reached and provided with support and help as part of this Emotional Wellbeing Programme.

Officers at Sandwell Council believe this is a unique way to use the funding made available from government for Covid-19 recovery.

Those benefitting from the project include children and young people who have witnessed domestic abuse, children in care and young people who have been exploited.

The organisations involved in delivering sessions around emotional wellbeing and mental health are already established in the local area. Grants were awarded following a multi-agency panel decision against a defined criteria. The funding allows them to boost the number of sessions they can provide and to target those groups of young people who may not otherwise get support.

Councillor Simon Hackett, Sandwell Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Education said: "I'm really pleased that Sandwell are leading the way in supporting children and young people through this programme, which is focussed on supporting their emotional wellbeing using a variety of activities including counselling, mentoring, sports and arts.

"We know from reports that during the pandemic, our children have faced a difficult period that has affected them from missing education and seeing their friends and this programme can help make Sandwell a healthier and happier place for future generations."

Sandwell Council of Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) has been instrumental in delivering this project and helping to distribute the grants available to the local voluntary sector.

Mark Davis, Chief Executive of SCVO suggested quote: "Since the pandemic, there has been an undoubted increase of the number of children needing support.

"We are delighted to be involved in this project and the funding has been a real boost to our voluntary sector. From feedback we've had, it has made a real difference to the children and young people we have been able to reach."

Mags Courts, Head of CAMHS Commissioning Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: "Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has found a significant increase in young people seeking support for a range of emotional wellbeing needs in recent times.

"This additional resource into these newly commissioned services will help young people to receive appropriate support when required and reduce the number of young people going into crisis.”