22 April 2020
Almost 200 young people have received and booked counselling appointments this month, at the Youth Enquiry Service (YES) project, since the Stay Home order was implemented.
The latest figures show an increase in the number of young people seeking advice, following the launch of a freephone number and awareness campaign by the Government and Jersey Youth Service to promote the support available to children, young people and families.
A new See It, Hear It, Report It campaign was launched by the Departments for Children, Young People Education and Skills and Justice and Home Affairs, with support across the whole of Government and the States of Jersey Police, to encourage Islanders to work together to keep everyone at heightened risk safe and in sight.
The campaign highlights that safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility, and is encouraging Islanders to be our “eyes and ears” in the community and report any safeguarding concerns.
Since 1 April, there have also been 282 separate interventions by My Time for Young Carers relating to support and safeguarding needs of young carers.
Education Minister Senator Tracey Vallois recently answered young peoples’ concerns with the Children’s Minister, Senator Sam Mézec, on Youth Radio FM. The number of listeners doubled to tune in for the live show from young presenters at Youth Arts Jersey.
Senator Vallois said: “More young people are contacting the Youth Enquiry Project through phone calls, text and by email. The questions vary from counselling inquires in the lockdown, registering with YES for support, or to talk to a youth worker about their mental health due to feeling anxious, low mood or about personal concerns.”
Parents have also made contact to seek support and information for their child on how YES can provide support. And professionals have signposted or referred young people to the project for counselling/support.
Senator Vallois added: “I would like to thank and congratulate the Youth Service, workers and counsellors for the way that they have adapted to new ways of engaging with young people. Staff have learned to become more creative to deliver support to young people through the pandemic.
“I am grateful for all the hard work taking place to ensure young people receive the support they need during this pandemic.”
Principle Youth Officer Mark Capern added: “As well as opening the YES project seven days a week from 12pm – 8pm, our Youth Workers have been redeployed into schools, carrying out youth work on social media to engage young people, providing support calls to children and young people, and some new exciting developments around some online sessions.
“We have also been carrying out street work and visiting known areas that young people gather. While out on the streets of St Helier our youth workers have provided Covid-19 advise, while also listening to their concerns, dealing with any worries and signposting to YES when appropriate."
Mr Capern added: “We have all adapted the way we are working, to support our young people and young carers during Covid-19. We are currently offering support to young carers based on their individual needs. This is mostly being provided remotely through phone calls and online support groups, however additional/ alternative support can be provided where it is deemed appropriate and safe to do so.”
The YES project (Youth Enquiry Service) offers information, advice and counselling for Young People up to 25 years old. It is free to call on 0800 7350 010 and is open from 12pm – 8pm every day.