Shining a light on mental health: Improving the well-being of people in the borough

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The World Bank estimates that 10 percent of people in the world are affected by, and 20 percent of children and young people suffer from some type of mental health disorder.

This comes down to one in four people experiencing a mental health problem at some point in their lives.

And, after years of decline, suicide rates are on the increase nationally, nearly one in four girls has self-harmed in the last year, and young people’s overall happiness with their lives is declining.

Despite being common, mental health issues remain invisible and often stigmatised, making it hard for doctors or mental health professionals to diagnose people who suffer from them. Besides, symptoms might not always be obvious and can vary from person to person.

Our borough is no exception

Islington has thehighest levels of depression of any London borough.

For all of our borough’s vibrant opportunities, more and more people find themselves struggling alone – trying to cope with loneliness, money troubles or poor health.

As mental health can be tough to talk about, at Islington Giving we want to help by bringing young people together to chat, connect and help each other.

We’re supporting partner organisations through our Mental Health Fund, which is exclusively dedicated to this issue in the borough.

Organisations supported through our Mental Health Fund

Talk for Health

Our partner Talk for Health is an Islington-based social enterprise set up to promote mental well-being, focusing on networks and communities rather than individuals. This approach has been shown to have a particularly significant impact for people suffering from low well-being, by ’knitting them in’ to the whole community.

Talk for Health trains people in ‘therapeutic talk’ in which participants have the opportunity to be part of a group where they can speak honestly and be accepted for who they really are.

Thanks to money raised through the Mental Health Fund, Talk for Health will be able to pilot a ‘talk for teens’ initiative in schools in Islington over the next few months.

Body & Soul

Body and Soul is a charity that supports children, young people and families in Islington who have experienced childhood adversity or trauma.

Islington Giving’s Mental Health Fund is currently funding Body & Soul’s ‘You Are Not Alone’ programme, which supports young people aged 16 to 30 who have attempted suicide. They deliver a 20-week Dialectical Behaviour Training (DBT) that provides practical ways for young people to cope with the intense emotions that can trigger self-harming behaviour and suicidal thoughts.

The DBT group work, in particular, is helping young people to develop relationships with others going through similar experiences. Sharing difficulties and successes together is enabling trusting and open relationships to be developed among peers and staff involved in delivery.

Give on World Mental Health Day

By donating monthly £20, £50 or any amount you like to Islington Giving’s Mental Health Fund, you will support the work that organisations like Talk for Health and Body & Soul are doing with vulnerable children and young people in the borough.

Our next project will be a mentoring programme run by Urban Hope, intended for 12 young people with behavioural and emotional problems to help manage the transition between primary and secondary school. Urban Hope is a youth club in Canonbury street that provides a safe environment for young people to form friendships, access opportunities and try new things.

We only need an additional £3,000 to make this project happen. Will you help us?

The impact of the money you give...

£10 would buy a Dialectical Behaviour Therapy Handbook and homework sheets for a young person completing their course of therapy.

£30 Young people commonly use drugs and alcohol as a method of self-harm. £50 would enable Body & Soul to provide psycho-educational workshops for young people to explore their relationship with drugs and alcohol.

£50 Binge eating, purging, and restrictive dieting are all common presentations of self-harm among the young people Body & Soul supports.

£50 would pay for a young person to navigate their unhealthy relationship with food with help from a nutritionist.

To learn more about the Mental Health Fund please get in touch with Anne Phipps at anne.phipps@islingtongiving.org.uk

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