Councillors agree package of support to help young people impacted by pandemic

A pilot scheme is being launched to support young people across the Chichester District who have been adversely impacted by the pandemic.

Social Prescribing is an opportunity for people to talk through some of the non-medical issues in their life which may be having an adverse impact on their health and wellbeing.

During appointments, young people can discuss ways to improve how they feel and explore opportunities to connect to the practical and emotional support available in the community.

Adult Social Prescribing services have proved so successful that funding has now been made available for a two-year pilot project to support young people aged 13-19.

Leading councillors at Chichester District Council’s Cabinet, held on 2 February, agreed to invest in a Social Prescriber who will work one-to-one or in small groups with young people to identify their goals.

Councillor Roy Briscoe, Cabinet Member for Community Services and Culture at Chichester District Council, said: “We know that young people have been adversely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic because of interruptions in their education, lack of social connections and becoming isolated during national lockdowns.

“Sadly, this has resulted in consistently higher levels of anxiety, depression, and loneliness than other age groups and, unfortunately, support services for young people have very long waiting times because of lockdowns during the pandemic.

“A Social Prescriber equipped with the skills to enable a young person to articulate themselves, focus on goals, increase resilience and coach into independence as they transition into adulthood will reduce longer term need for support services and better outcomes for young people.

“Our aim is to target young people who are in the greatest need, to reduce their need for longer term interventions from mental health services.”

The project will run for two years, from April 2022, and they will work to build clients’ confidence and resilience and help them access community groups and services.

The Social Prescriber will receive referrals from a range of sources including schools, GPs and voluntary and community partners.

The pilot will be managed by Chichester District Council which is funding the project in partnership with Hyde Housing Association and Clarion Housing Association.

The pilot will go live in the spring

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