Both our support sessions, for 12-16s and 16-24s, have been up and running since mid September. Since then, we have had a steady flow of referrals for both age groups, but particularly for our older group. We have a number of young people attending sessions, and we are already beginning to see them growing in confidence, both in their interactions with each other and in their willingness to take part in group activities.
We have received referrals from parents, GPs and schools, plus a number of self referrals from young people. We have also had enquiries from Inclusions Officers, Devon and Cornwall Police and Young Devon.
Young people are already coming to our sessions from across East Devon – Axminster, Honiton, Sidmouth, Exmouth and as far afield as Chulmleigh. As word spreads about The Project, and as there are no other groups offering early intervention support to young people with mental health issues, people are prepared to travel to access our service. However, ideally in the longer term, we would like to open groups to provide support in other parts of Devon, as not all young people have the means, or can afford to travel to Axminster to access our groups.
We held a successful Campfire Evening on 31st October, which brought both our age groups together for an evening of music and singing, bread twizzles and toasted marshmallows around the campfire up at Trill Farm http://trillfarm.co.uk/ It was fantastic to see our young people forget their troubles for a while – chatting, laughing and getting to know each other, with some bringing their guitars to entertain the group.
If you would like to refer a young person to The Project, or would like to self refer, information and forms are available to download from our website.