Local NHS encourages young people to be open about mental health


On International Youth Day, South West Yorkshire Mental Health Trust is encouraging local young people to open up and talk to someone if they feel they are experiencing problems with their mental health.

South West Yorkshire Mental Health Trust provides specialist mental health and learning disability services to people of Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield.

1 in 10 young people have mental health problems and 1 in 4 adults. The stigma surrounding mental health has a profound and damaging effect and makes it harder for people to admit they have a problem. South West Yorkshire Mental Health Trust works hard to reduce stigma so that all people, including young people, feel able to talk more openly about it.

The Trust is currently applying to become a Foundation Trust. This is a different kind of organisation based on membership. Local people are invited to have a say over how services are run and over 10,000 local people have already signed up as members.

Earlier in the year the Trust visited several local schools and colleges to help encourage an interest in mental well being and explode the myths surrounding issues like self-harm, eating disorders and anger management.

South West Yorkshire Mental Health Trust was also the first Trust in the country to use social networking website, Facebook to connect with local people. People who join the group can take part in discussions, or start one of their own and make new contacts with like minded people. The group currently has 212 members.

Julie Warren-Sykes manages the Trust’s ‘Insight’ service which helps 14 to 35 year olds cope with the early symptoms of psychosis. She explained why it’s important that young people feel able to talk openly about mental health problems: “It is crucial that young people feel able to share any problems they may be experiencing with their mental health. It can be a very daunting time for anyone when their mental well being is affected, and young people are no exception. I would urge any young person struggling with a mental health problem not to suffer in silence and to ask for help. A great way to find out more is to become a member of the Trust as this will ensure you receive regular information about looking after your mental health”.

To find out more about becoming a member visit www.southwestyorkshire.nhs.uk or call 01924 327567. If anyone is concerned about their own mental health or that of a loved one, they should speak to their GP or call NHS Direct on 0845 4647.

Local NHS encourages young people to be open about mental health

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