Working to tackle mental health barrier

Coun Fred Jackson
Coun Fred Jackson
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Young people with mental health issues are being helped into work thanks to a new partnership between Blackpool NHS and the council’s Youthability service.

Mental health issues can stop a lot of young people getting on to the career ladder, so the a service has been set up to

offer people between 16 to 24 the support they need to get into work.

Sarah Jump is Blackpool Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust’s Connect Counselling service counsellor.

She said: “There are a number of mental health barriers that stop people from getting into work. It can be self-confidence issues, anxiety or depression amongst many other more serious conditions.

“The service we offer allows them to speak to us directly.”

Sarah says she sees around 15 young people at the sessions, which take place at the Connexions offices on Market Street, Blackpool.

She added: “We see a lot of people who have faced the challenge of the unstable job market as people fight for the few jobs available. Some people get rejected a lot and this has a negative effect on their mental health. Others are just anxious about leaving school and getting into the big wide world.

“By far the most common issue we face though is those of young people who are carers for someone in their family who don’t think they can afford the time or energy to get into work themselves.

“They feel trapped or stressed with everything they are already doing. We can often help them see that they can do both and support them in doing that by referring them to other services that offer relief and support.”

People with concerns can just show up at the sessions and speak to a specialist councillor.

Youthability is run by Blackpool Council, and is open on Tuesdays between 1pm and 4pm. It sees various agencies in one place including career services, training providers, the job centre and counselling services. It is a drop-in service so there is no appointment needed.

Coun Fred Jackson, cabinet member for youth employment, said: “There’s no escaping the fact that it’s a difficult time for young

people at the moment; unemployment is high and life is tough for many.

“This can have a real impact on young people’s wellbeing, especially at a time in people’s lives when they are still finding their feet with the jobs market.

“With the Youthability Hub, young people can come and meet people in similar positions, as well as speaking to professionals and getting advice on improving their lifestyle.

“The support around mental health is really important and the hospital’s support for young people who visit the Hub is absolutely vital.

“Already, we are seeing the hub have a positive impact on young people which can translate into them becoming more skilled and more employable, which is a good thing for them personally, as well as for the town as a whole.”

For anyone who can’t make it to the Youthability service there is also a mental health drop-in session at the youth centre on Talbot Road on Mondays between 2pm and 4pm and group sessions on Thursdays.

Alternatively you can call the team on 01253 655858.