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Guildford charity offers mental health support for youngsters during coronavirus lockdown

3 minute read
Guildford charity offers mental health support for youngsters during coronavirus lockdown

Published by Grace Mcgachy at 6:14am 6th April 2020.

A new phone service has been set up by a Guildford charity so they can continue to support young people with mental health issues during the current lockdown. 

Emerge Advocacy usually supports youngsters who have been admitted to A&E at the Royal Surrey and St Peter's Hospitals for mental health-related issues like self-harming. 

Now because of COVID-19, they have set up a phone and text service for young people to use instead. 

In the first half of March, Emerge Advocacy saw a spike in young people attending the Royal Surrey in crisis. 

The charity says compared to February last year there was a 142% increase in young people supported by Emerge at the Guildford hospital.

Eagle Radio spoke to Emerge Advocacy found Joy Wright who said there were concerns some people could be struggling even more during the lockdown. 

"My thoughts have been with young people for who being at home is actually quite stressful.

"Normally they can go to school they can go to youth clubs, they can go out with their friends at the moment they might be feeling quite confined at home.

"During COVID-19 there are going to be young people who are struggling with self harm or not knowing how to cope with their emotions and they're not going to be able to get as much support as normal.

"We've decided to make ourselves available for local young people to call or text us if they are having a hard time." 

However, Joy explained if a young person is in immediate crisis or danger they need to contact a charity like the Samaritans:

"Our team are youth workers - they're not mental health nurses or doctors.

"But we are here to offer support we can listen we can chat and we're basically here to support a young person through a difficult evening in whatever way we can." 

You can reach Emerge Advocacy on 07534331455 between 7pm & 11pm Monday to Saturday.

If you are a young person in crisis you can also call the Samaritans on 116 123.