At the lowdown we offer a caring environment where young people are supported in their journey towards emotional health and well being. The lowdown aims to prevent and relieve the distress of children and young people aged 12-25 caused by mental or physical ill health or socio-economic circumstances regardless of ethnicity, gender, religion, ability, sexuality, economic condition or perceived disadvantage.
Our objectives are to help children and young people feel valued and supported so that they can live safe, happy and healthy lives, be part of and enjoy family and community life and achieve their full potential.
The need for our services has increased by 24% in the last year. So the problem is big and its growing. National and local trends suggest that the generation aged 12-22 experience high incidence, across genders, of mental health challenges. For example, a 2015 NHS report showed that 20% of women aged 16-24 had personally struggled with self-harm. Suicide is now the biggest killer of young men below the age of 25.
We meet our objectives by maintaining free of charge, accessible, young person friendly and volunteer-based services available 6 days per week (including lunchtimes, evenings and Saturdays) including:
- One to one confidential support counselling offered on average for eight sessions depending on the client’s needs.
- Sexual health including chlamydia screening, pregnancy testing and advice.
- LGBTQ social support services through three Out There groups (for 13-17 years old, for 18 to 25 years old and for parents).
- Drop in and telephone-based advisory/signposting support.
- Information sharing (website, brochures, events) and signposting.
- Outreach to schools, colleges and youth groups.
- Counselling skills training programme for our volunteers.
- A Volunteer Support programme offering student placements, work experience and volunteering opportunities.
- When required provide advice, help and guidance to parents/ carers and teachers.