Young Minds
Posted: 16th January 2017

Young Minds has received a Masonic Charitable Foundation grant of almost £50,000 to pilot peer support groups for parents raising children with mental health problems.

The £49,634 grant will help Young Minds launch parenting groups in Liverpool, Sefton, Knowsley and St Helens, as well as train ten parents in each city to set-up and run more groups.

The groups aim to bring together over 250 parents and carers each year, helping them to feel more confident, knowledgeable and less isolated when supporting their children’s mental health.

The growing need for mental health support

As many as 100,000 children in the North West have a mental health problem. Nationally, around 80,000 children suffer from severe depression, an increase of 70% over the past 25 years.

Children with persistent emotional disorders, including anxiety, eating disorders, bipolar and schizophrenia, are also more likely to struggle with basic literacy and numeracy. They are at a higher risk of being excluded from school or leaving with no qualifications.

Reports show that parents of these children are also at a greater risk of developing mental health problems of their own. Parents often feel isolated and helpless as they struggle to support their child’s mental health.

Helping parents to help their children

Young Minds peer support groups provide a space where parents can talk openly about their experiences, share knowledge and seek emotional support.

Lysanne Wilson, Director of Operations for Young Minds said:

We are thrilled that the Masonic Charitable Foundation grant will help us to develop support groups for parents who care for children with mental health problems. We have wanted to extend our work with parents for a long time, and hope that these groups will make a lasting difference to them.

In the first 15 months of the project, Young Minds aim to help between 50-60 parents and carers of children with mental health problems see a significant improvement in their own mental health.  It is expected that a continuing cycle of over 250 parents will benefit across the country every subsequent year.

George Fox, from the Province of West Lancashire, presented the Masonic Charitable Foundation grant to Young Minds. He said:

We are very pleased to be able to help Young Minds with this extremely worthwhile project. There are many thousands of parents of children with mental health problems that are getting no support at all. We aim to help them so that they can continue to help their children.

Pictured above at the recent grant presentation:

George Fox, West Lancashire Freemasons; Jane Case, YoungMinds Northern Hub Manager; David Winder, Assistant Chairman of  West Lancashire Freemasons; Julie Ward, East Lancashire Masonic Charity Director; Evette Allen, YoungMinds Trainer / Consultant; Chad Northcott, East Lancashire Freemasons