The On-Target programme will support and improve the mental health and wellbeing of young people in secondary schools across the Liverpool City Region.
The need for this programme is evident now more than ever amid the coronavirus pandemic, with a recent YouGov survey of more than 2,000 parents by Action for Children highlighting that 36 per cent of parents* worry that their children are feeling isolated, lonely, anxious, or unable to sleep.
In addition, 83 per cent** of children with a history of mental health report that the pandemic has made their mental health worse.
The On-Target programme will work with small groups of young people who have been identified through questionnaire assessment to be most in need of support. Through a number of engaging workshops, the new project will provide basic support and knowledge to a wide range of young people, in particular focusing on three key areas: understanding and empathy about mental health, coping strategies and self-care, and the importance of talking and dealing with mental health concerns.
The personal development, communication and teamwork, and relationship building workshops will be delivered by LFC Foundation staff and the other aspects of the project, including cognitive behavioural and person-centred intervention, will be delivered by a specialist Action for Children support worker.
LFC Foundation’s mental health manager will oversee all aspects of the programme to ensure the highest quality delivery is provided alongside the creation of key networks and referral partners to offer the best possible support for the young people.
Matt Parish, director of LFC Foundation, said: “The need for a project like On-Target is clear, and by working in partnership with Action for Children in local secondary schools we will provide young people across the city region with the support they need to help improve their mental health.
“Early intervention in children’s mental health is key and this new programme will be really important in equipping young people with the knowledge they need to understand their own mental health as well as the confidence to discuss it openly and seek support when needed.
“We are committed to the promotion of mental health across all of our programmes and have invested in a number of new projects as part of our mental health strategy to continue to increase our resources and provision.
“We are looking forward to starting this new programme and working alongside the dedicated and knowledgeable Action for Children team to make a real difference to our local young people.”
Carol Iddon, deputy CEO of Action for Children, added: “We are incredibly excited to be working with LFC Foundation in getting On-Target launched into local schools.
“At Action for Children, our frontline staff work tirelessly to support children and young people on their journey to better mental health and in the wake of COVID-19, it is needed now more than ever.
“It’s great to see LFC Foundation is so committed to working with us in bringing our vital On-Target programme to those young people across the city that need it most.”
*YouGov Plc 2020 All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 8,439 adults of which 2,001 were parents of children aged 18 or under. Fieldwork was undertaken between June 16 and 22, 2020. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+)
**Young Minds Coronavirus Report 2020 - https://youngminds.org.uk/media/3904/coronavirus-report-summer-2020-final.pdf