Felicity shares this latest news on behalf of Isle of Wight Youth Trust. Ed
Over the next eight weeks, the Isle of Wight Youth Trust will survey 5,000 young Islanders about their mental health, as part of an ambitious Island-wide project to understand the mental health needs, experiences and views of young Islanders.
Following on from the successful inaugural Island Youth Mental Health Census in 2017, which captured the views of over 2,500 children and young people, the Youth Trust is hoping to double the number of young people they reach through this year’s census.
Capturing snapshot of the issues
To reach their target, the Youth Trust has teamed up with schools and community groups across the Island to capture a snapshot of the issues young people are facing, and their perceptions of mental health.
Youth Trust Chief Executive, Mairead Healy, said it’s vital that young people have their voices heard on the issues that affect them.
“Here at the Youth Trust we feel strongly that our young people should be setting the agenda for the services they can access. With the Isle of Wight often being included with Hampshire in terms of data, finding information on the experiences of our young people can be difficult, so we want to hear directly from our young people.
“Through our Census, we are asking young Islanders to share their experiences and help us make sure that we are delivering the best services possible.”
Survey refined with help of young people
Mairead went on to say,
“In the past 12 months, there has been a 26% increase in the number of sessions attended at the Youth Trust, with over 1000 children and young people receiving support. However, we want to better understand the needs of all young people’ on the Island, including their experiences, perceptions and concerns about mental health.
“This time, we have refined the survey with input from our young people who helped us redesign the questions and ask about issues which were not covered in the original census. This includes specific questions on suicide, social media use and relationships with partners.
“We are particularly interested to see the responses to these questions, in giving insights into how our young people experience these issues on the Island.”
Breaking down stigma around mental health
The Youth Trust Chief Executive went on to say,
“We’re excited to be visiting primary and secondary schools throughout May and June, as well as the College and HTP, listening to young people and also taking the opportunity to break down the stigma around mental health.
“Everywhere we go we’ll be delivering a talk on mental health and the support the Youth Trust provides for young Islanders facing mental health problems or emotional difficulties.”
She further added,
“This is a community effort. Whilst we are reaching a lot of young people in schools, it is harder to reach those who aren’t currently attending school on the Island, and whose views might otherwise be overlooked.
“To include as many young people as possible, we are offering the chance to win one of two Amazon vouchers for anyone completing the census online and would encourage all under 25s to get involved.”
Young Islanders can anonymously complete the census online. The Youth Trust will be publicly releasing findings from this Census later in the year.