Young people

Dorset Rotary clubs support mental health charity

Dorset Rotary clubs support mental health charity

Mental health issues among teenagers is on the increase. Now Rotary clubs on the south coast are working together to support an awareness initiative.

Six Rotary clubs in Dorset have joined forces to support a child mental health project in the county.

Following a rise in child mental health, Dorset Mind approached Rotary to seek their support.

Rotary member, Mike Dwyer, explained the charity had recently launched a new programme, Dorset Mind Your Head.

It reaches young people aged 11 to 25 in the local area with mental health problems.

Keen to support, Mike brought up the matter at a quarterly meeting to members across Bournemouth, Poole and the heritage of the town of Christchurch.

Six clubs opted in to help the local charity to extend their service.

Young people’s mental health issues are finally getting the recognition and support that is urgently required.”

Volunteering alongside Dorset Mind, the team have nearly raised £20,000 towards the plans and strategy of the organisation.

This involved successfully acquiring a Rotary Foundation grant.

All donations raised are benefitting schools with an experienced Project Leader.

This role will provide multiple services.

  • Awareness raising campaigns: so that having a conversation about mental health is normal and easy
  • Education programmes: so that students know what good mental health is and what isn’t
  • Drop-in sessions: to answer difficult questions and signpost to the right support
  • Befriending: 1-2-1 help to build resilience
  • Counselling: 1-2-1 help to deal with difficulties
  • Telephone / email signposting: to make sure students get help from the right places
  • Online forums: to provide a safe environment to talk about mental health
  • Ambassadors: to train and support people

Dorset Mind’s Chief Executive, Marianne Storey commented, “We’re so grateful to the six local Rotary clubs that have helped fund our Project Manager.

“National evidence states that one in ten children and young people aged five to 16-years-old are known to live with a diagnosable mental health condition.

“That’s around three children in every class.

“In our experience, we believe that number is actually much higher. The impact of this is huge.

“On the young people themselves of course, but also on their families, classmates, teachers and communities.

“The key is to educate young people at an early age. And by doing so, there is a chance that we can stop small issues becoming considerable problems.”

Mike added, “Young people’s mental health issues are finally getting the recognition and support that is urgently required.

“I am delighted that my clubs have kickstarted this project.”

Eleven months have passed since Dorset Mind launched its new campaign and impact is ever-growing.

October 2018 saw a total of 4,250 children benefiting from the programme.

Parents, carers and close family are also feeling the second-hand impact across the historic county of south-western England

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