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Mental health support for children and young people in Jersey

03 February 2021

There has been an increase in the number of young people seeking mental health support in Jersey over the last few months.  

The number of young people who received free and confidential counselling appointments, at the Youth Enquiry Service (YES), rose by more than 500 in 2020, compared to the previous year.

Figures released today by the Youth Enquiry Service (YES) show that 1,902 counselling appointments took place in 2020 compared to 1,341 the previous year.

The Youth Enquiry Service YES project is a free and confidential drop-in facility for young people, based at Eagle House, La Colomberie, that supports young people aged 14- 25 for mental health issues, as well as a range of other concerns. 

More than 250 young people have also registered for a new online counselling and support service in the first month of its launch.

In December 2020, the Government of Jersey commissioned Kooth, an online counselling and support for 13-25 year olds, to provide young people in Jersey with free, safe and anonymous online mental health and wellbeing advice and support.

The pilot is part of the Government’s pledge to Put Children First, specifically by ensuring that young people get the early support they need when they need it to prevent issues from escalating, especially during the pandemic when face-to-face services have reduced.

Mark Capern, Principal Youth Officer said: “Should any young person under 25 years old need any help, support, advice, or need someone to talk with, our staff are ready to listen.

“We know that COVID-19 has had a massive impact on young people’s mental health. Youth workers continue to do a fantastic job supporting young people through schools, in town, and over the phone.

“Although COVID-19 means that we can’t meet in person, our youth work team are still here to listen and provide support.”

As part of the Government Plan, funding is also being invested in the redesign of Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in order to improve support for children and young people experiencing mental ill-health.

This includes investment in early intervention services for children of all ages, community intensive support services, seven days per week, improving and refocusing the current service as a specialist service.

And plans are also underway to set up a CAMHS helpline as part of the Children and Families Hub for parents, carers and professionals.

This week is Children’s Mental Health Week (1 – 7 February). The Government of Jersey is reminding children and young people of the ways they can access support with their mental health.

This year’s theme is ‘express yourself’ and encourages young people to share their feelings, thoughts, and ideas through creativity. 
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