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Today is World Mental Health Day and people everywhere are sharing stories and information to help raise awareness of mental health problems and challenge stigma and discrimination. At MedEquip4Kids we’re continuing our commitment to improving children’s mental health by providing resources for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) which are not available from limited NHS budgets.

Recent reports suggest that children and young people’s mental health in the UK is facing a crisis. Results from the Millennium Cohort Study found that nearly a quarter of girls and one in ten boys are showing signs of depression at the age of 14.  The right support can help children and young people to understand and manage their mental health, but with demand rapidly rising, underfunded mental health services are struggling to cope.

MedEquip4Kids supports CAMHS across the UK with much-needed resources

Since 2014, MedEquip4Kids has raised over £110,000 to benefit 157 CAMHS teams across the UK. The extra resources, which include books, toys, games, art materials and communication aids, have allowed CAMHS staff to deliver enhanced care and support to many hundreds of children and young people who are experiencing a range of difficulties, including eating disorders, anxiety, depression, OCD, autism and more.

Three quarters of all adult mental health disorders begin before the age of 18, so early intervention, treatment and care is essential. This can help them in returning to school or participating in social activities following a period of mental ill-health. It can also help them to acquire coping strategies that can prevent more serious problems developing in later life.

Below you can read how our resources have helped young people to cope with a mental health condition.

Ben’s story

Ben* was ten when his beloved grandma died. Soon afterwards, he started worrying about his mum, who has health problems too. Ben was so anxious that she would die too that he wouldn’t leave her. He stopped attending school and became withdrawn and isolated. Eventually he was referred to his local CAMHS. There staff used a board game and emotion cards provided by MedEquip4Kids to help Ben to identify his feelings and talk about his anxiety. Ben and his mum used workbooks to help him understand the impact of losing his grandma and to manage his anxiety. As a result, and with his mum’s support, Ben was able to cope with returning to school.

Katie’s story

Katie* was thirteen when she lost her father to suicide. Katie came to CAMHS experiencing severe anxiety and depression. The craft equipment we provided was used to engage with her, the pens and rolls of paper were used in her therapy, and the Coping Cat workbook was used to help with her anxiety. Katie is still being seen by CAMHS, but she is now functioning in a much better place. She is attending school full time, she has friends, and she has recently started participating in volunteer work.

*Ben and Katie’s names were changed to protect their identity.

MedEquip4Kids will continue to support CAMHS with the resources they need to help deliver the best possible treatment and care to young people experiencing mental health problems.

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“The new outdoor area will boost mood and morale, creating social opportunities in a safe space free from medical interventions and providing distraction from pain and illness. It offers play opportunities for siblings too, helping to normalise the hospital environment and bridge the gap between home and hospital.”

Gillian Heer
Starlight Children’s Unit Manager
Wythenshawe Hospital

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