University helps close gap in mental health provision for young people

31 January 2017

A grant from the University of Derby’s Community Fund will support a Derbyshire charity as it tries to bridge a gap in NHS funding which has left a growing number of adolescents facing mental health issues without professional help.

The £1,500 grant will enable the Derbyshire Federation for Mental Health to extend its weekly call service to younger adolescents – a group identified by Prime Minister Theresa May as receiving inadequate support.

“We know from experience that adolescents suffering with their mental health will be the adults receiving services tomorrow,” said the Federation’s Toni Bryan.

Chesterfield campus

“Individuals in the 13 to 18 age range have very limited services under existing Government funding, and have to rely on family and friends.

“With this help from the University of Derby, we can start to offer services to bridge the gap and improve individuals’ quality of life.”

The Federation currently offers support for vulnerable adults via weekly calls from trained workers centred on a plan designed to help the individual deal with issues such as anxiety, self-esteem and depression.

“More and more we are receiving referrals for younger adolescents, aged 15 and over, and feel this service is something we could expand and adapt to suit this age range,” said Toni.

 “We are well situated to signpost people to other professionals or alert other services if necessary.” 

 “It is important that at an early stage these young people are taught coping mechanisms and strategies to allow them to live with their conditions and thus lead independent lives.

“Sometimes it is just a case of talking to someone who will listen but not judge.”

The project will help young people in the Derbyshire Dales and Chesterfield.

To find out more about the Derbyshire Federation for Mental Health, go to Derbyshire Federation

The Community Fund is one way in which the University hopes to 'give back' to local people through grants to inspiring projects that seek to benefit the community.

Community groups throughout Derby and Derbyshire will be able to bid for their share of £15,000 over the next 12 months. There will be three rounds of funding in 2016/17, with £5,000 available in each round.

The Fund is now accepting applications for the next round of awards.