MENTAL health charity Mikeysline has recruited five team members to help deliver an ambitious new support service for young people in the Highlands of Scotland.
The new Young Person’s Service offers one-to-one appointments for young people who require a confidential, non-judgemental place to talk and be listened to. It is delivered face-to-face in the charity’s headquarters, The Hive, in Inverness, over Google Meet, and via text, Messenger, Twitter, and webchat.
To support the new service, the charity has recruited two new development officers – Natalie Sutherland and Yvette Kershaw – who will oversee the ongoing development and expansion of the service as part of their roles.
Beth Simco and Chris Grant have also been appointed to Mikeysline’s volunteer board, taking special interest in young people’s support and community engagement respectively.
Rounding out the new recruits, Joe Carson has joined the team as communications and social media assistant for the Young Person’s Service under the UK Government’s Kickstart scheme.
Natalie Sutherland said:
“According to research published by the NHS, one in six school-aged children has a mental health problem – rising from one in ten in 2004. We are proud to be able to provide our new Young Person’s Service to help address this in the Highlands.
“Our sessions allow young people an outlet to express their thoughts, to share their difficulties and stresses, and talk through anything that may be causing distress or impacting their mental health.
“Normalising this open discussion of mental health at a young age will have great benefits later in life, letting young people know that it’s ok not to be ok and that support is always available.”
Mikeysline’s Young Person’s Service offers 45-minute appointments face-to-face or over Google Meet from 4-5.40pm Monday to Thursday and 2-5.30pm Friday to Saturday. Young people can also engage with the service through SMS, social media, and online chat, allowing them to communicate in the most comfortable way.
Its launch comes at a time when the charity is partnering with the Highland Youth Parliament on its #mindus campaign, which empowers young people across the Highlands to take action to improve mental health support at a critical time during pandemic recovery.
In addition to the Young Person’s Service, Mikeysline has recently partnered with Youth Highland and the Clay Studio on an art project – and will follow this up with a free, week-long Mental Health and Wellbeing Creative Arts Course from July 12-17, which will also be delivered in partnership with the Clay Studio.
With spaces for up to eight young people, the sessions will include creative activities as well as teaching new skills to help young people manage their emotions. For more information and booking, applicants should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yvette Kershaw said:
“With the COVID-19 pandemic adding extra pressures on many young people, it’s so important for them to find ways to destress and relax.
“A study conducted by the University College of London last year found that people who spent half an hour or more each day during the pandemic engaging in the arts had lower reported rates of depression and anxiety.
“Simple things like reading for pleasure or taking part in a creative hobby can have a huge impact on our mental wellbeing – and we’re delighted to be providing that outlet for young people in the Highlands this summer.”
Since 2015, Mikeysline has offered confidential, non-judgemental support to people of all ages with mental health issues or in emotional distress in the Highlands from its Inverness headquarters, The Hive. Alongside face-to-face support, Mikeysline also offers live chat, Twitter and Messenger support – as well as a text line service at 07786 207755. The charity also now provides an additional support service for young people.
For more information, please visit: www.mikeysline.co.uk – or find Mikeysline on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.