Headliners (UK) is delighted to announce that our team in the North East has been selected to be a Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) Strategy Site by Mental Health First Aid England to support children and young people in our underserved communities with their mental health and wellbeing.

Background and Context

The YMHFA Strategy Site programme is part of the wider Tackling Inequalities in Children (TIC) project across the North East and North Cumbria. Thanks to NHS Charities Together and County Durham & Darlington FT Charity for supporting the programme with funding of £242,650.00 towards this project. Also thanks to Newcastle Hospitals Charity and County Durham Community Foundation for their support through the Community Partnership Grants Programme (North East and North Cumbria). This generous funding will enable a unique partnership between the North East and North Cumbria Child Health and Wellbeing Network (CHWN), NE Youth, Children North East and the collaboration STAR (South Tees ARts) Project led by TIN Arts.

This programme is specifically designed to tackle inequalities for children across the region by:

  • Embedding Youth Mental Health First Aid skills to those most in need through VCSE organisations working in local communities
  • Delivering a collaborative arts intervention with wrap around support for young people and families attending primary schools in our most deprived neighbourhoods
  • Tackling barriers that prevent access to health care caused through financial struggles and the impact on mental health in young people
  • Working with an apprentice to ensure we engage effectively through social media with our communities.

Driven by CHWN, our organisations will work in partnership across sector boundaries, combining skills knowledge and expertise to tackle health inequalities, limiting the collateral damage that Covid-19 has caused. CHWN membership across Health, Education, VCSE and Social Care, coupled with a robust children and young people voice, defined the most urgent areas of support post pandemic; these are Poverty, Mental Health, Family Support and Communication. TIC (Tackling Inequalities in Children) focuses on these ‘given’ areas of need. CHWN are coordinating a ‘train the trainer’ programme (allocated across four geographical areas: Durham, North Cumbria, Northumberland and Tees Valley), embedding YMHFA skills into communities that need it most.

What is YMHFA?

YMHFA training educates people who may work with children and young people, or parents/carers, to support young people with their wellbeing and signpost them to advice or other sources of support. The training enables you to gain the skills and confidence to spot the signs of mental health issues in a young person, offer ‘first aid’, and guide them towards the support they need. This training can benefit the communities that you work with.