As pupils return to classrooms this week, mental health charities have warned of a shortage of resources to cope with the number of young people that have witnessed or suffered domestic abuse during the pandemic. Having seen a spike in calls to crisis centres during the pandemic, which saw reported incidents increase by 25%, services are concerned that the lasting impact on child witnesses’ mental health could be catastrophic without sufficient early intervention.

To combat this, Birmingham-based Living Well UK consortium, has received a grant of £10,000 from Birmingham City Council to pilot a targeted support programme for those aged between 11-13, who have witnessed or suffered from domestic abuse during lockdown.

Piloted by Living Well UK member, Citizen Coaching and Counselling – which has received an additional £20,000 funding from Heart of England Community Foundation – the latest programme will utilise the experience of qualified child and young person therapists based throughout the consortium. Supporting Citizen Coaching and Counselling will be fellow members, Sport 4 Life and Spring to Life, with the trio curating a dedicated trauma treatment plan.

The vital service will be free, and will be available to young people across Birmingham and Solihull. The programme will be tailored to each individual case, allowing them to talk about the problems they face but also enabling them to communicate with other young people who may be in the same situation.

As well as psychotherapy services from Citizen Coaching and Counselling, the programme will offer opportunities in the Sport 4 Life mentoring programme, which will provide young people with a mentor and access to sporting activities. This will further be complemented by ecotherapy treatments and access to qualified therapists via Spring to Life’s service too.

To find out more about the programme to support young people, head to https://livingwellconsortium.com.

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