The Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on the nation’s mental health, but it is becoming increasingly clear that children and young people are suffering terribly too. According to a survey by Young Minds*, 87% of young people agreed that they had felt lonely or isolated during the lockdown period, and 41% agreed that it has made their mental health much worse.
We know that 7 in 10 children with mental health difficulties do not have access to the support they need early enough, so Alder Hey Charity is appealing to their supporters to stand with us to make a change.
Children aged 5-13 facing the most challenging mental health crises are cared for at Alder Hey’s Mental Health in-patient unit. Alder Hey Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust provides one of only six dedicated child and adolescent mental health inpatient units in the country which cares for children facing mental health difficulties each year, including depression, anxiety and eating disorders.
When children require inpatient care, the impact of separation can be devastating, but Alder Hey’s therapeutic approach for children with severe mental health difficulties is family-centred and involves the whole family unit engaging with their care pathway.
Care and support from family members is a crucial part of recovery. This is made significantly harder for the children and young people who sometimes need to travel up to 200 miles from home, to stay with them for treatment. Some families spend huge amounts of money and time travelling to visit their child, adding unnecessary stress at an already highly anxious time. Whilst most children will spend approximately 3 to 6 months in their care, some may be there for over a year.
It is not difficult to imagine how daunting this can be for a child as they not only try to cope with their conditions, but also the stress that comes from being separated from their day to day lives of family, friends and school.
To address this need, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital is building a brand-new Mental Health Hub. Two adjoined buildings will comprise of a 12-bed inpatient mental health unit ‘The Sunflower House’ for children who need to stay for their care, and an Outpatients Centre ‘The Catkin Centre’ that will provide a home for community services including supporting children with mental health conditions and learning disabilities.
The new Mental Health Hub will sit alongside the state-of-the-art Alder Hey Children’s Hospital within parkland surroundings which will provide the wraparound care that children need. The existing inpatient unit is currently based in a former adult mental health unit which is a 30 minute drive away from Alder Hey Children’s Hospital Campus.
Northern Training Academy is partnering with Alder Hey Children's Charity to raise vital funds for their 7 in 10 campaign which aims to raise a total of £3 million by to support the fit-out, furnishings and unique architectural features of the new Mental Health Hub.
We have pledged to raise £11,000 over the next 12 months to sponsor and support the creation of one of the brand new family visit rooms in the new inpatient unit, The Sunflower House.
This family visit room will be a comfortable lounge available for families to use in between their family-centred counselling sessions. As well as having a hotel-standard bedroom to stay in, parents will also be able to spend time with their child in a relaxed environment, with no therapeutic agenda.
This space will also be particularly useful to the families of children who live far away and are staying at the Hub whilst visiting their child for treatment, giving them a shared communal space to use in the evenings, both with their child and with other families.
Alder Hey’s new Mental Health Hub presents a crucial, once-in-a-generation opportunity to shape the way we look after children and young people with mental health conditions in the North West and beyond.
Artists impressions of the new buildings
We are proud to be to partnering with Alder Hey Children’s Charity to help create bright futures for over 900 babies, children and young people every day so that we can help to ensure that children with the most complex and challenging mental health conditions are cared for in the very best environment that will support their journey to recovery and rehabilitation back into their communities.
You can keep up with our sponsored challenges and events on our website and Facebook page so make sure you pop over and give us a like so you don’t miss any important or exciting news about the build progress too.
We will have a totaliser on our website homepage and you can of course help us raise money by donating to #TeamNTA there too or clicking this link to go directly to our Just Giving page https://bit.ly/3I8cpMq
We hope you will join us on our fundraising journey!
Keep an eye out on social media in the next few days for details of our first event which of course has to have a Christmas theme!