(UK) S. Tyneside: Mental health service for children needs help; "rising demand for services"

May 5, 2021, Charity Today: Call for help by South Shields young people’s mental health charity

NE England A South Tyneside young people’s counselling and support services charity is calling for help to fund ongoing operational costs after a challenging year aiding more than 300 families and children facing difficulties. South Shields-based Escape Intervention Services is seeing rising demand for its services post-lockdown from young people aged from 4 to 25 years living locally. Many are suffering from anxiety and mental ill-health, are experiencing abuse including sexual, domestic and online bullying, need social support to help find a job or develop new skills, receive play therapy and 1-2-1 counselling, or are looking for a mentor outside of their family unit to overcome personal issues or trauma. The charity recently received £9,000 [$13K US] from The Bernicia Foundation, a charitable trust set up by Bernicia housing association to provide North East community projects, charities and individuals looking to achieve personal goals with funding. This much-needed donation has been integral for staff and volunteers to deliver counselling services during and post-lockdown, given Lynne Yousef, who founded Escape Intervention Services 16 years ago, is seeing more and more young people reaching out for help. Lynne Yousef explained: “It’s a worrying situation and one that is never going to go away unless we find better ways to support and fund charities like ours who are delivering crucial support services to young people in the area. The donation from The Bernicia Foundation has been an absolute lifeline for us, especially over the last year, and has meant that we could cover overheads and staff costs at a time when many families and young people are facing huge difficulties and relying heavily on us…. One young person who has accessed the services of Escape Interventions is Saheb (15). He was introduced to the charity by Epinay Business & Enterprise School (which caters for children with special educational needs) as his autism, panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive behaviour was impacting both his school and family life. Saheb has received counselling support for the past year as well as participated in outdoor activities, which have helped boost his self-esteem and become more confident. He has also joined the charity’s young person’s steering group and now acts as a peer mentor supporting other vulnerable children….