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Publication date:- 2017-01-13

user-generated Headlines and reports on this page = 3 news items.    Page - 3.

Freemasons give £50,000 to parents of children with mental health problems in Merseyside

THE Masonic Charites Foundation has made a grant of nearly £50,000 to the Young Minds charity to fund peer support groups for parents of children with mental health problems in Liverpool, Sefton , Knowsley and St Helens. As many as 100,000 children in the North West are affected.

The trial projects aim to develop a unique and sustainable peer to peer support model that can be replicated by local authorities and parenting groups across the country, as well as training at least 10 parents in each City to be able to set up and run four or more parenting groups.

The need for this service is becoming more urgent every year. 1 in every 10 young people between the ages of 10 to 16 have a diagnosable mental health problem, which is 3 in every classroom. This means that there are around ¾ of a million young people with a mental health problem in England, with nearly 100,000 of them in the North West. This would fill Anfield and Goodison Park stadiums.

One of the most important of these mental health issues is depression, with more than 80,000 children nationally suffer from a severe form of depression. The depression rates in teenagers has increased by 70% in the past 25 years.

Children with persistent emotional disorders, which also include anxiety, eating disorders, bipolar and schizophrenia are twice as likely to struggle with basic literacy and numeracy and they are far more likely to be excluded from school or leave with no qualifications.

The parents of these children are at great risk of developing mental health problems of their own. Help from other parents who have 'been through it' produces powerful results, making them feel more confident, more knowledgeable and less isolated.

Within the 15 month life of the project , between 50 to 60 parents and carers of children with mental health problems will have seen a significant improvement in their mental health. It is expected that a continuing cycle of 250 to 60 parents and carers will benefit across the country in every subsequent year.

Lysanne Wilson, Director of Operations for Young Minds, said:- "We are thrilled that the Masonic Charitable Foundation grant will help us to develop support groups for parents who care for children with mental health problems. We have wanted to extend our work with parents for a long time, and hope that these groups will make a lasting difference to them. "

George Fox of West Lancashire Freemasons said:- "We are very pleased to be able to help Young Minds with this extremely worthwhile project. There are many thousands of parents of children with mental health problems that are getting no support at all. We aim to help them so that they can continue to help their children."

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