Mental health and life scripts are developed in childhood, so a child with good mental health is more likely to carry this on in to their transition in to adulthood and beyond. Unfortunately society today involves family breakdown, financial worries, unemployment, high expectations from family, school and society, peer pressure and consumerism 24 hours a day. Three children in every classroom has a diagnosable mental health issue and one in twelve use self-harm as a coping strategy; in addition to thousands of children and young people being diagnosed with severe depression.
Hull is an example of one of the hardest hit cities to be affected by cuts, and has some of the highest levels of child poverty in the country, and the financial challenges are still continuing. The requirement now is for all local authorities to develop and manage resources effectively, which involves reducing the demand on specialist provisions and avoiding an escalation of problems requiring multi-agency intensive support.
There is a clear connection between early intervention and positive mental health of children and young people and their academic achievements, relationships, prospects, ability to contribute to society, reduction in anti-social behaviour, substance abuse and positive parenting.
Therefore by investing in early intervention there can be a huge financial saving in terms of personal and public spending and the cost to the taxpayer but more significantly a huge investment in the ‘Adults of Tomorrow’.
Time to Listen, is a ‘not for profit’ organisation, which provides counselling and therapeutic services to Hull and the surrounding area. The service specialises in supporting children, young people and families with their emotional and mental health, offering early intervention to enable, maintain and improve wellbeing and life opportunities. Time to Listen has vast experience of working with attachment issues and developmental trauma and is registered with Ofsted as an Adoption Support Agency.
At Time to Listen we believe that:
-Families are the building blocks of communities.
-Communities comprise families who share common attitudes, interests, values and goals, resulting in feelings of belonging and caring for each other.
-Supporting vulnerable families at the earliest possible stage equips them with skills to raise well-adjusted children, enabling families to become strong community building blocks.
-Today’s well-adjusted children can be tomorrow’s parents who carry forward those skills to raise the next generation of well-adjusted children, to build future communities.
The service does not receive any financial support from the local authority or the NHS, though we are constantly seeking external funding from charities and other grant providers in order to provide free access to our services for anyone living in Hull. Though there are services offering counselling for children and young people many have specific criterion which needs to be met i.e. diagnosed mental health problem, being in receipt of certain benefits or the local authority have a statutory duty to assist. However, there are a large proportion of children, young people and their families, in and around the city of Hull, that do not meet these criteria and they are not in a position to pay for private therapy, which is often all that is available to them.
We are unique in that we are able to provide access to a wide range of therapeutic interventions with one simple request. The ‘one-stop-shop’ approach ensures that there is a fast response and eliminates the problem of searching around for a therapist to meet the needs of the individual.
Funding grants successfully awarded from the following have enabled Time to Listen to thrive and grow as an essential therapeutic service despite the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding has enabled Time to Listen to continue being responsive to the needs of our local communities.