New Crawley charity looks to raise funds for families in need of mental health support

A new charity has launched in Crawley with the aim of raising much-needed funds to help families access private treatment and support for children and young adults who suffer with poor mental health.

Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 12:22 pm

Youth: Action for Mental Health Support (Y:AMHS) launched on Monday and wants to raise £5,000 to obtain registered charity status, which will allow them to access more support.

Y:AMHS has also set a target of raising £100,000 in their first year.

Founding trustee of Y:AMHS, Rachael Colbran, said: “This sounds like a huge amount of money and it is.

Founding trustee Rachael Colbran (left) and fellow trustee Shamilla Sheridan at the launch of Youth: Action for Mental Health Support on Monday. Picture courtesy of Youth: Action for Mental Health Support

“However, we estimate that the cost of funding a course of treatment will average at £1,000 per person.

“This means that we will be able to help 100 young people in the coming year if we reach our target.”

Rachael has seen first hand how difficult it is to access mental health treatment.

She said people facing mental health problems can feel helpless at times and despairing - and the situation can affect the mental health of those around them.

Rachael said some people were advised to seek private treatment due to the long waiting lists, but this could be a massive financial commitment costing £80 per week and for many it simply wouldn’t be an option.

Rachael also admitted that the pandemic has only exacerbated the issue.

She added: “The Covid pandemic I think, has increased the isolation and loneliness of everyone and this has been particularly difficult for people with mental ill health.

“The activities that would normally provide some comfort and structure, such as going to the cinema or doing sports, just haven't been possible and so this very necessary lifeline has not been there. Added to that, accessing services has become more difficult.

“Everyone will have their own story around this I think, but for us it just felt like we were left hanging, out on a limb and on our own.

“I think dealing with the isolation and uncertainty has been particularly difficult for those with mental ill health.”

Y:AMHS is hoping to launch a parent/carer support group in September. This will run once a month and will provide a safe space for parents and carers to share their experiences without any judgement.

Y:AMHS will also be holding a 300,000 step running fundraising event in June.

Rachael said: “(We are) asking people to take 10,000 steps per day throughout the month to raise funds for us and to raise awareness of our charity.

"Recovery from mental illness is a step-by-step process and we will be taking our steps in solidarity with those making steps towards wellness.

“We will ask people to sign up and let us know how they're doing through our social media pages.”

Y:AMHS would love to hear from any local businesses, schools and volunteers who would like to help the charity.

To find out more please visit their Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages, or email [email protected]