A new approach to youth services in Ludlow starts next year – we are going to tackle the big issue of mental health

Mental health services are being cut back. It can take weeks, even months, for a young person to get a mental health referral. Often, they must go to Shrewsbury for a consultation. Many youngsters can’t or won’t do that.

Ludlow Youth Partnership wants to tackle this. We have partnered with the Children’s Society which runs the Beam emotional wellbeing service in Shrewsbury and Wellington. Our new drop in service launches in February. It is supported by a lot of organisations and is the first independent commissioning of the Children’s Society to provide emotional wellbeing services for young people in Shropshire.

This is an article by Tracey Huffer, Shropshire Councillor for Ludlow East and chair of the Ludlow Youth Partnership. It first appeared in the Ludlow Advertiser on 13 December.

I am excited. We at the start of something very new in Ludlow.

We have struggled to maintain a decent youth service in Ludlow since Shropshire Council slashed budgets. To guide our future efforts Ludlow Youth Partnership carried out a big survey. Two-fifths of the young people we spoke too were worried about mental health and wellbeing, including issues like sexual identity, self-harm, bullying and substance abuse. It was a shocking result but one in line with national surveys.

We knew that mental health must now be our priority.

Mental health services are being cut back. It can take weeks, even months, for a young person to get a mental health referral. Often, they must go to Shrewsbury for a consultation. Many youngsters can’t or won’t do that.

Ludlow Youth Partnership wants to tackle this. We have partnered with the Children’s Society which runs the Beam emotional wellbeing service in Shrewsbury and Wellington.

Next February, we will launch Ludlow Young Health under the Beam brand. This will run informal drop-in sessions using the expertise of the Children’s Society. We won’t be offering therapy or diagnosing health conditions. We will give support and guidance to young people, their parents and carers to help them understand the issues they face. We will explain where they can get additional support.

It has taken us months to put this project together. We are the first market town in Shropshire to provide this service with independent funding. Ludlow Town Council, Ludlow Mayor’s Charity, Ludlow Rotary, Shropshire Council and South Shropshire Housing have all put in money. We are supported by many other local organisations. We will be working with volunteers, schools and GPs.

If a youngster has mental health difficulties, they suffer, the family suffers, friends suffer, their school or workplace suffers. It is time we tackled one of the biggest health and social issues of our age.

We are starting small with Ludlow Young Health. We will only be scratching the surface of the issues we want to tackle. We are thinking big for the future.

People interesting in volunteering should email AskBeam@childrenssociety.org.uk

One thought on “A new approach to youth services in Ludlow starts next year – we are going to tackle the big issue of mental health

  1. Teenage years are a time of finding out who he/she is.Giving young people a positive outlook to themselves and that the future is theirs to grasp can help. yes I know that the parents etc have to be seen as part of the problem and solution but it is they who can give guidance to the . youngsterTo give a positive spin ont hings will help all round including finding out what the person would like to achieve and give advise accordingly (careers or other).n

Comments are closed.