Sunday, 23 March 2014

Mental health: Bristol charity aims to change minds

Young people from Bristol-based mental health charity Off The Record held a conference last night to celebrate three years of campaigning.

Carina Andrews leads a discussion about mental health

Young People – Changing Minds showcased the work that young volunteers in Bristol have done to provide support to 11 to 25-year-olds suffering from poor mental health. The conference included stalls, talks and a workshop to get people talking about issues such as stress and anxiety.

Volunteers spoke to Bristol Life about their experiences as part of the youth-led Mentality Project:

Funding cuts

In light of cuts to mental health services for young patients, Off The Record are looking into alternative funding sources.

Tony Whitlock, Chair of Trustees for Off The Record said: “Increasingly, we are trying to move away from statutory funding and we’re looking at social enterprise schemes, to make us a bit more self-sufficient.

“In terms of cuts, we’re worried about the impact on our clients, but also if grants are cut, there’s the impact on us being able to provide services for those clients. It’s having quite a significant effect in that other smaller counselling organisations go, increasing the pressure on us.”

Dr Simon Newitt, Chief Executive of Off The Record, said that problems are not just caused by NHS cuts:

Related links:

Off The Record: Mentality project

Mental Health Foundation: Mental Health Statistics: Children & Young People

Story by:

Rajitha Ratnam (Story, editing, pictures)

Elizabeth Horstmann-Snell (Research, filming)

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