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Young people in district to benefit from new £2.8m psychological support service

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VULNERABLE young people in Warwickshire will soon be able to tap into first class psychological support from social enterprise Innovating Minds.

Innovating Minds, based at Tyler House: Stratford Samaritans Community Hub in Stratford, has set up one-to-one psychological support as part of Progress, a £2.8m initiative funded by European Social Fund and the Big Lottery Fund.

This is to help young people who find it hard to access training, education or employment across Coventry and Warwickshire get the training, skills and support they need to find a job, a training opportunity or start a course.

They will work with 15 to 24 year-olds who are not in employment, education or training ('NEETs'). Young people in this position often feel anxious and low in mood and often do not know where to turn for expert help. Over the 18 month life of the project, 225 young people will be eligible for a range of therapies to cope with feeling low in mood and anxious which can act as barriers and stop them making the most of work and training opportunities.

The new team at Innovating Minds will offer young people an opportunity to talk about their problems and take control by changing the way they think and act. This is a tried and trusted approach often used to treat anxiety and depression, but it can be useful for other mental and physical health problems too.

Experienced staff will work with young people to identify the barriers and blocks that are holding them back and help them find ways to reach their goals. This might include one to one sessions, or group work to cope with anxiety, low mood and depression.

Innovating Minds will be working locally with many other groups such as Young People First, Learn 2, Team Springboard and Coventry Citizen Advice.

Dr Asha Patel, chief executive of Innovating Minds, said: “Personalised psychological support can help young people feel better about themselves and more optimistic about their futures. This is critical to them making successful transitions to education, training or employment.

'We are delighted to have a base in Stratford because we know that young people, particularly from rural communities in South Warwickshire, can find it difficult to access help.'

Innovating Minds joins the Samaritans, Lifespace, the youth mentoring charity and St Basils, which supports young people in housing crisis at Tyler House. The Hub is home to these four organisations and has been used by more than 50 charities and community groups in the last two years.

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