Youth Fed Case Study: Amy

Youth Fed‘s mental health support is holistic. It works within the context of families and communities. We support many vulnerable and socially disadvantaged families who often encounter the complex interface between health and social care needs.

Amy is an inspirational example of this and has consented to the sharing of her story. Amy has faced real challenges both with her physical and mental health. Since March 2020, she spoke of having no sense of purpose and direction, no energy to do the things she wanted to do and at times felt unable to cope. When times were really difficult for Amy we discussed practical hope kits, reasons to keep on keeping on and individualised crisis strategies designed to respond to specific crises and problems. The result for Amy has been remarkable and as a process, it has been empowering for her resulting in a reduction in fears and confidence in her own ability to manage specific challenges.

We believe that no young person should be left to cope with mental ill-health alone – anxiety and depression can be isolating enough. Amy’s experience of mental ill-health has impacted on relationships and difficulty making and keeping friends, managing at college and feeling good about herself. It has also been bewildering for her incredibly supportive family. Early intervention is about empowering young people like Amy to improve their mental health by developing the skills she needs to achieve their full potential.

With this in mind, Youth Fed launched an Early Intervention Mental Health support service in March 2020 following an 18-month pilot. During the lockdown, we introduced weekly Positive Psychology sessions as many of the young people we were supporting were feeling like Amy, lonely and lacking motivation.

Amy is autistic and many of the young people we have supported are autistic and we have not employed a number of them via the Kickstart programme. These young people want to develop the sessions for other young people with Autism Rebranded as ‘Living your Best Life Sessions’ they offer weekly 2-hour activity and information sessions to build friendships, confidence and self-esteem and address the many issues facing autistic young people.

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Youth Fed is a youth charity that supports over 5,000 young people between the ages of 10 and 29, helping to improve the lives of young people. They shared Amy's story with us.

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