Updated: Dec 20, 2020
Mind's Newport division has received a £90,000 grant from the Welsh government to continue providing mental health services in schools.
The grant is to be paid out of the Voluntary Services Recovery Fund (VSRF) which aims to reduce societal inequalities resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The £90,000 was awarded with the intention to provide six months of mental health support to schools and community groups in Newport from January 2021.
Newport Mind has recruited six project workers to coordinate their efforts to provide support for 9 secondary schools, 42 primary schools and many community groups across the region.
The support to be provided will include mental health training, online resources, and one-to-one support.
“We are thrilled to have been awarded this funding as it has allowed us to continue providing vital mental health support to our local community in response to the pandemic,” said Abbey Rowe, VSRF project coordinator for Newport Mind. "This new project will add to the wide range of children, young people, family, and adult services already provided by Newport Mind."
The provision of mental health support for children and young people has been of concern during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in children's hospitals.
A recent report from the Children's Commissioner found that professional visits fell in children's wards fell by 39% compared with pre-pandemic levels.
This percentage includes a 64% decline in fitness specialist visits and a 41% decline in family therapist visits.
A 67% reduction was also seen in mental health advocate visits, with around the same percentage of patients having no advocates present during lockdown.
Another report found that around 3,500 children held as 'informal patients' may not be receiving legal safeguards outline in the Mental Health Act 1983.