Youth mental health has taken a huge hit this last year. On top of the challenges of growing up, young people have faced wave after wave of uncertainty and isolation due to COVID-19. Cut off from education, unable to work and uncertain about the future, the pandemic has intensified existing mental health issues and created new ones.

Thanks to a generous grant from NHS Charities Together combined with donations from our incredible supporters, we’ve reached the first milestone in a new campaign to launch a network of Peer Support Workers who will, once appointed, deliver a new youth mental health model of care.

The Peer Support Workers will all be aged between 16 and 24-years-old and come from the same communities and backgrounds as the people they will support. Crucially they will all have their own lived experiences of mental illness, therefore, not only will they be able to help young people with their medical recovery, they will aid them with their personal recovery too.

The Peer Support Workers will support Forward Thinking Birmingham, our Trust’s unique mental health service for children, young people and young adults (0 to 25-years-old).

Once established, this new care model will be the first of its kind within Children’s and Adolescent Mental Health Services.