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Maidstone and Mid Kent Mind to help school children manage their mental health in Maidstone and Swale

By Luke May

Primary and secondary school children will be able to access training to help manage their mental health and emotions.

Maidstone and Mid Kent Mind has been awarded nearly £450,000 to provide its Youth Support Programme in Maidstone and Swale.

The charity's programme means young people will be able to access courses looking at mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.

Primary and secondary school children will be able to access courses to help manage their mental health from April
Primary and secondary school children will be able to access courses to help manage their mental health from April

The programme aims to open up new opportunities for young people to discuss mental health and start in Maidstone in April.

MMK Mind aim to deliver the programme in Swale next year.

Last year the Kent Messenger revealed half of all self harm hospital admissions were people aged between 13 and 30.

Maidstone and Mid Kent Mind CEO Julie Blackmore. Picture: Chris Davey
Maidstone and Mid Kent Mind CEO Julie Blackmore. Picture: Chris Davey

The new programme is expected to last up to 2024. It will also offer opportunities for the public to receive Mental Health First Aid training and Mental Health Awareness sessions.

In November the Kent Messenger attended a Mental Health First Aid course to understand what training is available for the public.

MMK Mind hopes to deliver a youth equivalent to its Wellbeing Café and activity groups.

Julie Blackmore, CEO of MMKM, said: "During my tenure as CEO we have seen gradually increasing demand for children and youth mental health support services. Services like our out-of-hours, once-monthly youth group have proved beneficial for our service users – so this grant is an important part of the continual implementation of these vital services.

"The grant will enable us to offer additional services which are non-costed for individuals from all backgrounds within the community. This means we can ensure that any young people in need feel confident accessing the services provided by MMKM.”

"The first year of the programme’s delivery will be Maidstone based. Once the initial implementation year has been completed, support will also be available in Swale. The programme will support primary and secondary school aged children.

"This new initiative will further benefit the longevity of mental health support in the local area – providing youth support for the next five years. It will also provide additional staff vacancies - including a new manager to oversee the project, as well as opportunities for apprentices to join the programme."

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