I founded 4 Young Minds in October 2018 after witnessing the impact that mental health has on young people even at school age; inspired by one particular young person I worked with who had been struggling with his mental health for several years. In year 11 of school and just a few months away from his GCSEs, he had spent years as a "disengaged learner" and had accepted that there were no other options for him other than failure or suicide. How was his mental health left to deteriorate without any intervention for so long?
I am a youth worker with a BSc in Psychology and more than 5 years of field experience. I finally found my calling as a Youth Worker at the Prince’s Trust in my role as a Fairbridge Programme Executive. Here I supported some of the hardest to reach and most vulnerable young people aged 16-25 through 1:1 mentoring and group personal and social development and life skills workshops.
Whilst also mentoring young people aged 11-16 in schools, I realised that a preventative measure was needed to break down the crippling stigma around mental health that prevents so many young people from seeking help before it is too late. With so many promising lives lost to suicide every year, all too often many young people suffer in silence, unaware of the support that is available to them or too ashamed to ask for help.
Through being transparent about my own experiences with anxiety, alongside my Level 3 Award in Education and Training, I create a safe and supportive learning environment to encourage discussion throughout my workshops. I am also Youth Mental Health First Aid Trained, helping me to guide young people to access appropriate support.