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August 7, 2018
Mental health is just as important to our overall wellbeing as physical health, and in some cases, more so. It is becoming a top priority to many local authorities, including Cumbria, as ignoring it would lead to devastating effects on the economy as more and more people would find it difficult to stay in work. In Cumbria, we are focusing in on mental health of young people as half of long term mental illnesses in adulthood start by the age of 15, and three quarters by age 18.
There are many pressures affecting the lives of young people, which is leading to poor emotional resilience including exam stress and poor interaction with peers at a basic level and serious mental health disorders at the extreme end with eating disorders, self harm and suicide being hire than the national average in Cumbria.
Cumbria Youth Alliance is working collaboratively with local partners including Active Cumbria to deliver a range of commissioned services to improve the emotional resilience and mental health of young people living in the Cumbrian coastal communities aged 14 to 25. These services included workshops around self harm, drug and alcohol awareness, training local volunteers and youth workers in mental health first aid and providing a wide range of positive interventions including sport, positive physical activities, art therapy, theatre workshops and a peer led programme across all the secondary schools in Allerdale, Barrow and Copeland districts to engage young people in mental health issues and equip them with appropriate coping strategies.
Active Cumbria alongside Cumbria Youth Alliance is supporting Street Games campaign to train 5000 youth coaches and volunteers in mental health awareness by 2021 to start tackling this problem. The coaches and volunteers will learn how to spot the signs of mental health issues and how to protect, support and guide young people who need it. If you want to make a difference, sign up now: https://www.streetgames.org/youth-mental-health-first-aid-0 and book on to one of CYA training courses which could be found on the CYA website www.cya.org.uk under the young people tab.