The Project is a peer support network that has been set up to support young people age 13-24 with mental health issues, and their parents and carers. Based in Axminster and Chard, this is a free service open to young people and their parents and carers from across East Devon, South Somerset and West Dorset.
What do we do?
Based at the Young People’s Centres in Axminster and Chard, we offer fortnightly peer support groups for young people in two age groups—13-18s and 18-24s. There is a group meeting every Thursday in Axminster and Wednesday in Chard, alternating between the two age groups with the 13-18s meeting one week, and the 18-24s meeting the following week, and so on. All of the groups meet from 6-8pm.
The Project’s focus is on early intervention and prevention, and is there to support young people who do not satisfy the criteria to receive help from CAMHS (Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services), AMHS (Adult Mental Health Services) or other services. It can also provide additional support to young people who are under CAMHS/AMHS and support young people through transition, or discharge from services.
For parents and carers of young people, we hold monthly meetings, providing much–needed information, support and advice.
How can The Project help?
The Project offers a friendly, non-clinical space for young people who are experiencing emotional and mental health issues. Here they can come and meet others with similar issues, talk, share, give and receive support, so reducing their isolation in the community.
In addition, we offer a programme of creative and social activities, all of which are designed to develop self esteem, support, enhance and improve emotional and mental wellbeing. Our aim is to provide young people with a range of information and tools which they can use to manage their symptoms and improve their emotional resilience.
Our weekly groups are facilitated by a Group Worker and a Mental Health Support Worker, assisted by a team of volunteers.
All our volunteers have either lived experience of mental health problems, or have relevant professional experience or qualifications. They receive mental health, safeguarding and child protection training, and have enhanced DBS (formerly CRB) checks. Volunteers receive support and supervision from The Project’s Coordinator and a Clinical Supervisor.