Can your company help children and young people with mental health problems in Milton Keynes?

Thousands of young people are seeking mental health support
Thousands of young people are seeking mental health support

Around 75 per cent of young people suffering mental health problems are not receiving vital treatment in Milton Keynes.

And the city's only free counselling service for children and young people has been forced to turn away 160 clients in the past year because it does not have the resources to help them.

Now the YiS Youth Counselling Service has signed up to The Big Give Christmas Challenge 2019 to ensure 50 young people get vital counselling support.

The charity is aiming raising £3,750 in pledges from local businesses before 5pm on 30th August. This funding will then be matched by a major donor so any money given will doubled.

The move comes at a critical time for YiS as the charity has had to turn away so many young people due to an "unprecedented high demand" for their services.

Kat Newman, Director of Development and Engagement at YIS, said: "Whilst YiS is offering more counselling sessions than ever before, YiS was unable to provide counselling for at least an extra 160 local young people who enquired.

She added: "The Big Give Christmas Campaign will help us to generate pledges from local businesses and match fund them so that we can recruit more fantastic volunteer counsellors and offer even more young people around MK with an initial meeting and 6 free sessions of BACP-accredited counselling.

" 99 per cent of young people who’ve accessed YiS would recommend us to a friend so we know that our service makes a real difference to the lives of local young people."

The Big Give Christmas Challenge is the UK’s biggest match funding campaign. The Christmas Challenge is a match funding campaign where donations to participating charities are doubled. Charities secure pledges over the summer, then these funds are boosted by cash

from a Big Give Champion who contributes to the match fund. This collective pot is used to double donations from online supporters when the campaign is live.

YiS offers BACP-accredited counselling to young people aged 11-21 years who live, learn or work in Milton Keynes. Their counselling is delivered in informal community settings across MK that are both friendly and welcoming.

A recent report by the Children's Society highlighted that mental health is the single largest cause of disability in the UK - a bigger problem than both cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Yet treatment for mental health problems is still "woefully inadequate," says YiS.

"In addition, 75% of all mental health problems are established by the time someone is 18. With the right support at the right time, these problems can be managed and prevented... This is a serious issue at the moment because 75% of young people who are experiencing mental health problems aren’t receiving treatment," said a spokesman.

If your company wants to help, you can donate online here