TIC+ collaborate with i am me
TIC+, a charity providing counselling support for children, young people and their families in Gloucestershire, were delighted to be asked to collaborate in the development off the new i am me app - designed to help young people improve their mental wellbeing and lead a more positive, happy and healthy life.
This brilliantly interactive tool encourages young people of secondary school age and beyond to become better equipped to deal with the daily stresses and challenges they face. With a whole range of areas for young people to visit, the app encourages young people to look at the way they approach their thinking and feelings.
It’s critical for young people to be able to exist and thrive in the world we live in today, and the i am me app is rich with really useful tools to help young people navigate daily life, encouraging resilience and exploring topics that are of practical as well as emotional help. A particular favourite is ‘Messages to my younger self’, in which i am me supporters offer the wisdom of hindsight to themselves as adolescents.
TIC+ have provided a wide range of articles and guidance on issues that could affect emotional and mental health in young people, helping them normalise and contextualise their feelings as well as recognise when they may need to get further help.
As an organisation, TIC+ currently supports around 2,500 young people each year with free mental health counselling, and this year expect to deliver over 21,000 sessions of counselling to young people who ask for help. They work really hard to ensure they can continue to do this and have to do some crazy events (25 marathons in a year anyone?) but have never yet had to turn a young person away.
Yet, TIC+ can’t reach everyone. Claire Power-Browne, Director of Operations at TIC+ explains:
“There has been a massive upsurge in demand for services for young people at a time when funding is tighter than ever. Our client base is getting younger and younger. By the time some young people come to us aged 17, they have already had up to three contacts with mental health services.
We need to be able to help earlier - to help children and young people have the skills to build resilience, to navigate complex feelings, and to make sense of the world around them. The i am me app will really help with this, which is why we were so happy to contribute articles and features written by our qualified counselling team to it: we want to be pro-active in reaching out to young people.
But we can’t do it alone. It’s easy when we talk of ‘the mental health crisis’ to think in abstract terms. But let’s not forget - these young people could be your children, relatives, future or current workforce. In 2017/18 15.4 million days were lost to stress related illness (British Safety Council 01/11/18). The physical, emotional and financial cost of poor mental health is enormous. Not every young person can access free mental health support such as we offer - and we at TIC+ are passionate about making sure that every young person in need can get access to support.”