On 23rd March Cheshire Community Foundation (CCF) held a mental health discussion led by Dr Sandeep Ranote which highlighted many important issues in the Cheshire area bringing forward mental health in young people as the main priority.

1 in 4 people will suffer from a mental health issue in their lifetime with 75% of all adult mental health issues starting before the age of 18. Here at Cheshire Community Foundation we are committed to helping reverse the devastating effects of mental health issues by raising £500,000 by 2019 to be distributed among charities and voluntary organisations focused on making long-term improvements to the lives of young people with mental health issues.

Before the discussion started Dr Ranote used Word Cloud to gather information on how people felt about current children’s mental health services, here were the results:

The group then discussed how CCF could make a real difference to the lives of young people suffering from mental illness by focusing on early intervention, helping children understand the importance of looking after their mental health and supporting those who are experiencing the early signs of what could become more complex issues, whilst helping to remove the negative stigma associated with these problems.

After the discussion Dr Ranote then asked the same group of people what they thought about the future of children’s mental health services and here is what people said:

From this discussion CCF have decided to focus on supporting projects based around early intervention and coping mechanisms to help prevent more serious mental health issues developing as well as preventative services exploiting the connection between a healthy living environment and an improved state of mental health.

CCF will be meeting with young people to discuss these initiatives further and collect their thoughts and ideas so we as an organisation can develop and adjust suitably to meet the needs of the main audience more accurately.