The United Grand Lodge of England has awarded a grant to Mental Health Matters (MHM) to deliver Youth Mental Health First Aid Training to those supporting young people across Kent, Sussex, and Surrey.

Mental health and emotional issues often develop during adolescence, with one in ten young people experiencing a mental health issue at any one time (ONS, 2005).

The COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdown measures have led many young people to experience a decline in their mental health, reporting increased levels of stress, worry, sadness, and loneliness (Barnardo’s, 2021).

Youth Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) courses are for everyone who works with, lives with, or supports young people aged 8-18. By offering funded access to Youth Mental Health First Aid Training, the partnership hopes to be able to support local organisations to recognise the signs and symptoms of mental health issues in a young person, offer first aid and guide them towards the support they need.

Jane Hughes, CEO of MHM, said:

“We are very grateful for the generosity of The Masonic Charitable Foundation. Their support will enable us to work with the Kent community and help them to feel more confident and empowered to support local young people”.

Dr David Staples, chief executive of the UGLE, added:

“We are proud to support Mental Health Matters (MHM) with the Youth Mental Health First Aid Training. The pandemic has been devastating and mental health is a very important topic to our members and us. The UGLE has carefully chosen the institutions we are supporting, focusing on those with important objectives to achieve in tackling racism, mental health issues, living with bipolar disorder and prevention of young suicide. We need to do everything we can to help as many people as possible.”

These training courses will be delivered virtually between November 2021 and March 2022.

If you are interested in a funded place, please email [email protected]