Ipswich: Disadvantaged children’s charity reveals sharp rise in numbers of youngsters appealing for help

IPSWICH: A charity working with disadvantaged youngsters has seen a spike in the number appealing for help with mental health issues over the past year, it was today revealed.

The Suffolk Young People’s Health Project – 4YP says the 14.5 per cent increase in demand during 2010/11 highlights the need for additional funding.

Chief executive Dawn Henry said: “The fact referrals have increased is positive. Early intervention makes a big difference but it does highlight the fact the services are needed.

“We would like to put on more sessions to meet the demand but need additional funding to do this.”

Counsellors working for the charity, based in Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, saw an additional 40 youngsters last year. This came in the wake of a massive increase the previous year when an additional 47 people were seen on top of those treated the previous year.

“We see seasonal trends,” said Mrs Henry. “Around exam time we see people with stress and anxiety, other times we see people with relationship issues and depression and we also see people who have been either emotionally or physically abused, although these are rarer.”

A full course of six counselling sessions costs the charity �210 per person and they currently have a waiting list of 130 referrals of those who are unable to receive counselling immediately because more funding is needed.

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Yesterday the need for additional funding was discussed as representatives met for their AGM, which was organised and run by young people who have sought help from the service.

Urging supporters to come forward, Mrs Henry said: “Counselling makes a vital difference to helping a young person at a time when they are in real crisis and feel like everyone and everything is against them.”

Anyone who would like to make a donation or find out more about the services offered by 4YP should e-mail dawn.henry@shphp.org.uk.

n Is this rise something we should be concerned about? Call The Evening Star news desk on 01473 324788 or e-mail starnews@eveningstar.co.uk.

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