Milton Keynes's only free counselling service for children and young people has received a pledge of support from the Mayor.
Councillor Sam Crooks has praised the excellent work of the service, which offers BACP-accredited counselling to young people aged 11-21 years who live, work or learn in Milton Keynes.
YIS has beeen forced to close its waiting list due to soaring demand, turning away 160 young people who have requested counselling over the past year.
Nevertheless the charity offered 23 per cent more sessions last year and saw 10 per cent more clients than the previous year.
Mayor Sam, who visited YIS with by Cabinet member for children Cllr Zoe Nolan, said: “ One in 10 of children and young people between five and 16 suffer from a diagnosable mental health disorder.. there’s been a 68 per cent rise in the number of young people being admitted to hospital in the last 10 years because of self-harm."
He said thousands more young people suffer from diagnosed depression brought on by academic pressure, social media, bullying, difficult relations with their parents or the death of a parent.”
Gareth Eglinton-Pacitti, CEO at YIS, commented: “We have recently been faced with the hard decision of having to close our waiting list to new referrals, but any and all publicity we receive thanks to Mayor Sam Crooks and Councillor Zoe Nolan helps us to generate funding that will enable us to recruit more fantastic volunteer counsellors and to therefore see more young people around MK. We know from the feedback we get from people we’ve seen that our service makes a real difference to the lives of local young people.”.
YIS holds its counselling sessions in informal community setting across MK that are “friendly and welcoming”.
They are now hoping to recruit more volunteers to enable it to help more young people.
For details of the charity visit the website