Young People need our help Mental Health (UK) Our mission is to help young people achieve emotional health and well-being. This is more important now than it ever has been, with rates of depression and anxiety among teenagers increasing 70% over the past 25 years and the number of young people turning up in A&E with a psychiatric condition has more than doubled since 2009. 70% of people who experience a mental health problem do not receive the appropriate support and 1 in 5 young people referred to statutory mental health services were being turned away. 75% of mental illness in adult life starts before 24, and there are strong links between mental health problems in children and young people and social disadvantage; children and young people in the poorest households are three times more likely to have a mental health problem than those growing up in better-off homes. Leigh Park and Havant Leigh Park is a large mixed housing estate with a population of 27,500, with 8,418 under the age of 19. Deprivation in Havant is higher than usual with about 22.6% of children living in poverty, it falls within the 20% most deprived areas in England (IMD 2010 Hampshire Analysis). Hospital stays for self-harm is also significantly worse than the English average. Local government stated in their 2015 report that their priorities within Havant include children’s health and wellbeing with a focus on mental health. However, the relevant local agencies who can provide the support required are overwhelmed, with waiting lists for counselling for young people reaching up to 1 year. Off the Record Off the Record has been providing a safe place for young people to talk about their problems and issues for over 40 years. Enabling young people to overcome problems, gain confidence and self-awareness and to find ways to get their lives back on track. Our services have expanded to include not only a safe place and 1:1 counselling but also group work and support for young carers. In 2016/2017 alone Off the Record achieved just shy of 12000 contacts; from these contacts 100% of people said they felt listened to and that their worries were taken seriously, and 100% felt that if a friend needed help they would recommend Off The Record. Since I was referred to OTR back in 2011 they have helped me through a lot of hard times and made me realise that life is worth living even though it sometimes seems like it’s not … Most days I wonder where I would be without this place. If it wasn’t for the volunteers at OTR I probably wouldn’t be writing this.