Young people in Peterborough and Huntingdon who need to talk to someone confidentially about problems at home, school or in their relationships can now visit new drop-in sessions called HERE:NOW.
No appointment is needed and young people can access a variety of workshops and activities that help promote their mental health from advice and information, one-to-one counselling, Mindfulness sessions, group work and therapy.
The confidential and welcoming sessions are being run between 2pm and 5pm every Friday, upstairs at Peterborough Central Library, Broadway, Peterborough, and between 2pm and 8pm every Thursday at Huntingdon Youth Centre, Sallowbush Rd, Huntingdon.
They are being run by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust’s community mental health teams, Huntingdon early help team and Peterborough local youth team are working alongside representatives from young people’s charity Centre 33 to deliver support for young people who are worried and stressed.
HERE:NOW is part of the Urgent and Emergency Care Vanguard programme to improve mental health care and reduce the pressures on hospital A&E departments. It has been commissioned by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group.
Elaine Young, mental health Vanguard project lead at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Young people are facing much more pressure than they ever have and the incidences of anxiety and stress are rising year on year. As the lead NHS Trust on mental health we are working closely with our partner organisations to ensure everybody can get the help when they need when they need it, from professional and caring staff in a private setting.
“Overall, if someone needs urgent help they or their carer can call 111 and press 2 to go straight through to an experienced member of staff from our First Response Service.”
Helen Baker, Centre 33 manager, said: “We are delighted to be working with Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust and the local teams in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to provide much-needed support for young people. Whatever problems young people are facing, big or small, we are here to help. They can talk to our trained counsellors about family problems, sexual health, bullying and almost anything. Our advice is free and in confidence.”
In February it was revealed that more than 4,000 referrals had been made to the First Response Service since its launch in September 2016.