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Young London SOS: How our appeal with Place2Be will work to tackle the children’s mental health crisis

David Cohen
·2-min read
 (Matt Writtle)
(Matt Writtle)

There is a rising crisis in mental health among young people in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. To help combat this, the Evening Standard has launched a new campaign — Young London SOS — with the charity Place2Be.

What are we doing?

We have launched an initiative called Young London SOS to address the rising crisis in child and adolescent mental health as a result of the pandemic and to raise funds for our appeal partner.

Who are our partners?

Place2Be charity, the UK’s leading provider of schools-based mental health services, who provide early intervention support and expert training. In the past year they have worked with 700 schools, including 150 primary and secondary schools in London. Their patron is the Duchess of Cambridge and their whole school approach ensures that pupils, teachers and parents all receive support, creating a healthy environment for learning.

Why are we doing this?

As many as 500,000 previously healthy children will require mental health support this year due to the pandemic, according to the Centre for Mental Health. This comes on top of an already growing crisis with one in six children experiencing a serious mental disorder according to the NHS, up from one in nine, and headteachers report the situation as “the worst it’s been”.

What will your money buy?

£33,000 could put a Place2Be team into one additional school in a deprived area of London or with an above-average proportion of pupils on free school meals. Each Place2Be partner school gets a qualified professional who runs their service, which includes: weekly one-to-one counselling for pupils with the most urgent or complex needs; a Place2Talk lunch-time referral service which any child in the school can access; group work; training for teachers; support for parents. On average, 33 per cent of pupils — 200 in a school of 600 — access their services.

How do they work in lockdown?

Place2Be did 35,000 remote sessions between March and September and have pivoted again this lockdown to provide a blended service of face-to-face and virtual support for children. They offer the same mix of in-person or virtual support for parents.

How can a school apply?

Contact Place2Be for eligibility criteria and expression of interest at place2be.org.uk/eveningstandard

Donate today

You can support the Young London SOS campaign by donating to Place2Be HERE

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