National funding supports expansion of successful young people’s mental health and wellbeing service

More young people than ever before will have access to a service which provides them with a safe and confidential space to talk about issues affecting their mental health and wellbeing.

The successful Hear Our Voice project, commissioned by NHS Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group (NHS Kernow) and delivered by charity Young People Cornwall, has recently received £65,243 of national funding.

The cash boost will fund two additional Hear Our Voice wellbeing practitioners and will result in the expansion of the project, stretching right across Cornwall.

Funding was awarded by the Health and Wellbeing Fund, part of a programme of government investment in the voluntary sector as part of its commitment to transform mental health care – backed by an extra £2.3 billion a year through the NHS Long Term Plan.

Camille Smith, project manager for Young People Cornwall, said: “We’re thrilled to receive the funding and it serves as confirmation that our wellbeing practitioners are really working.

“This funding also means that we can broaden the age range that we deliver to from 11 to 17 year olds, to eight to 17 year olds (until their 18th birthday).

“The wellbeing practitioners receive extensive training from Exeter university. Young people will provide support from them in a safe, confidential, non-clinical, space to talk about any issues young people might be facing, this can be at school or in their local community at a time that suits them.

“They also encourage young people to seek support and open up about their thoughts and feelings and challenge those thoughts and feelings by speaking them out loud. The wellbeing practitioners simply listen and steer conversations, building young people’s resilience, step by step until each young person is ready to and equipped to move on."

NHS Kernow and Cornwall Council supported Young People Cornwall’s bid for the government cash.

The money will be used to expand the project for the first year, with a commitment from NHS Kernow to take on the responsibility of funding the service by the end of year three.

Dr Laura Ashton, children’s clinical lead for NHS Kernow, said: “Hear Our Voice has a great track record in Cornwall helping young people who are struggling with their feelings and wellbeing. They continue to make a very positive contribution to Turning the Tide - Cornwall's plan to transform and improve children's mental health. I’m delighted to hear that they have been awarded funding to expand its offer to young people. Ultimately, it means that they will be able to reach more young people at an earlier stage and offer support to avoid mental health problems escalating or reaching crisis point.”

To find out more about Hear Our Voice and how it might be able to help you or someone you know, get in touch with Camille Smith on 01872 222447 or email Camille.smith@ypc.org.uk.