Two South Ayrshire school communities benefit from new mental health and wellbeing service
Two South Ayrshire school communities are benefitting from a brand new mental health and wellbeing service.
Children's mental health charity, Place2Be, and a group of charitable funders are working together to pilot the innovative service within Carrick and Girvan academies.
Thanks to the collaborative work from The William Grant Foundation; North Carrick Community Benefit Company; The Robertson Trust; Paul Hamlyn Foundation and the schools themselves, young people now have access to some fantastic mental health and wellbeing resources, including a new counselling service.
Place2Be, the organisation delivering the service, has over 25 years' experience of providing mental health support in schools. The charity's whole school approach is to help schools spot mental health problems early, enable children to focus on learning and support them to develop the tools to cope with challenges throughout their lives.
The vital new service, which has been operating at the two South Ayrshire academies since schools reopened in August, responds to research into local young people's mental health needs. Young people, our schools and the local Community Learning & Development team worked together with Place2Be to develop the support.
Both schools now have a dedicated Place2Be mental health professional on campus. Place2Be work closely with pupils, families, teachers and school staff to help improve emotional wellbeing, and provide mental health support for the whole school community.
With young people facing more challenges and changes in their lives this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this additional provision really couldn't have come at a better time. A number of pupils have already engaged with, and benefited from the service since their return to school on 11 August.
Plans are now underway to expand the service to make it accessible to people in our communities.
Councillor William Grant, South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Children and Young People said: "We want to support our young people throughout their school journey. Supporting young people to manage their emotional wellbeing plays an important role in closing the attainment gap. Ensuring that they have access to the right resources to help them take care of their mental health is a key priority.
"Working in partnership with Place2Be, and other charitable funders, has allowed us to provide more support to help children and their families look after their mental wellbeing.
"The next step will be to extend this support to young people and families in the community."
Jacqueline Cassidy, Director (Scotland) at Place2Be, added: "We are delighted to be working with Carrick and Girvan Academies in South Ayrshire. Providing high quality support that is easily accessible, when and where young people need it is a crucial way to promote healthy coping strategies and good mental wellbeing. With the added pressures on young people as a result of the pandemic, there's never been a more important time to focus on mental health."
Mark Fletcher chairman of NCCBC said: "It was a privilege for us to be a part of this joint funding project. As a local funder we could see the absolute need to support our young people and their families through their school life, and we know Place2Be are the right people for the job.
"We know this extra support will be even more important now in these strange times, and we wish all the young people of the area and their families the very best as we work together for better futures."