The communities we work with are schools, nurseries, day centres, residential homes, and support groups, mainly within Greater London. We work in schools because early intervention can enable children to develop their emotional intelligence and learn social skills, reducing the risks of more severe problems later. Their needs include families in crisis, social isolation, being on the autistic spectrum, depression, self-harming, and disaffection. We also work with children to help develop their confidence and improve their self-esteem which can be crucial to them accessing learning. We work with older adults to help maintain mental and physical health, generating friendships and a renewed sense of self-worth amongst people who are lonely and depressed. We work with people with learning disabilities, creating a supportive environment where they can learn skills which empower them to lead fuller lives.
Whilst ongoing initiatives are developing choice for people with special needs, the very changes generate high levels of anxiety. Without appropriate support, these anxieties can undermine other efforts to engage and help people with learning disabilities. The issues faced by children and young people can lead to a serious deterioration in mental health, undermining their capacity to thrive as adults. Nationally, 1 in 10 children has a clinically diagnosable mental health problem. Without early support, these are likely to lead to long-term mental health problems in adult life. The pressing need to address the mental health needs of older adults has been revealed in studies, such as that of Professor Sube Banerjee. Click here for further information: http://www.bsms.ac.uk/research/our-researchers/sube-banerjee/
The mental health needs which arise from physical or learning disabilities, economic or social deprivation, abuse, dysfunctional families, or old age, such as anxiety, depression, loneliness, behavioural problems, under achievement and confusion, are experienced by over 20% of the general population and a significantly higher number of disadvantaged people. We identify specific needs through directly consulting our service users, as well as consultation with staff who support them.