Together let’s make a difference to young lives – The Mix Volunteers’ Day.

Chris Martin
Chief Executive Officer

Over the last twelve months there has been a groundswell of people coming forward to talk about mental health. It seems that many of us are slowly coming to realise that this once taboo subject can no longer be ignored. And we are starting to wonder what we can do to help.

The reason for this change lies in the sheer prevalence of mental health issues. All of us are likely to encounter challenges to our own mental health during our lives and, in many cases, we will experience by the misery created when they affect others.

Most worrying is the epidemic of mental health issues among young people. The statistics are shocking. The World Health Organization estimates that 20% of adolescents in any given year may experience mental health problems including anxiety, depression, eating disorders and self-harm. Yet we know that 70% of them will not receive appropriate interventions.

Supporting the mental health of our young people is vitally important. 75% of life long mental health problems are established by the age of 24 and there is a direct association between childhood psychological problems and the ability of affected children and young people to work and earn as adults.

In short, outside of the distress mental health issues can cause for young people and their families, our failure to provide support can directly influence their opportunity to live the full and engaged lives they deserve.

The good news is that there is something we can all do to help. Give our time to help others.

At The Mix, we are visited by some 2 million young people every year seeking help with a range of issues from drugs to CVs, from exam stress to homelessness. Anxiety, stress and depression form the background to every conversation and are often the gateway to revealing struggles with self-harm and even suicidal ideation. We provide advice, empathy, information, counselling and signposting. In many cases, we are the first place a young person has ever spoken about their issues.

We can only provide this invaluable service thanks to the skill and commitment of our incredible volunteers. Our volunteers are trained by us to support young people and work side by side with our staff answering phone calls and web chats as well as moderating our discussion boards and online chats. But we desperately need more volunteers to help us cope with growing demand.

As part of the Heads Together campaign led by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, The Mix wants to see more young people talk about their mental health and seek support when they are struggling. This is a good thing. By recruiting more volunteers to give a few hours of their time each week, we can ensure The Mix is there when those young people reach out for support.

Together we can make a real difference to young lives.

If you’re aged over 18 and interested in becoming a volunteer for The Mix, we’d love to hear from you. It doesn’t matter where you live, as our volunteers can provide online support from anywhere in the UK. Please email us at: [email protected].

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Published on 19-Dec-2016