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Free counselling offered to young people in Liverpool

YOUNG people across Liverpool are to receive free counselling sessions thanks to a new mental health project, Talk It Out, launched by mental health organisation The Mind Map, with support from First Person Project.

Talk It Out is a National Lottery part-funded project which will see The Mind Map and First Person Project supporting young people aged 18-30 with accessible counselling support, both online and in-person at locations across Liverpool.

Referral partners, including The Florrie and Citizens Advice on Prescription Liverpool, will be signposting young people to this vital and timely service.

The Mind Map’s founder, Phil Bridges, a mental health lecturer and trainer, said: “With current waiting times of up to 18 weeks or longer, and routes to access counselling often confusing, there is an acute need to meet increasing demand for mental health support.

“The pandemic has exacerbated an existing mental health crisis for young people. When you add to that the cost-of-living crisis and collective trauma following a spate of recent murders in the city, never has increased counselling provision been more needed.”

Matty Caine, founder of First Person Project, is a registered mental health nurse and lecturer. He added: “This project is about taking mental health action at a critical time.

“The people within our local communities are in dire need of mental health support, but they’re struggling to access the necessary services due to a variety of complex socio-political factors.

“This is impacting upon rates of mental illness and, in the worst-case scenario, contributing to the increasing rates of suicide.

“We need to provide specialist mental health support without barriers or bureaucracy, in a way which takes the whole person and their surroundings into account.”

Talk It Out will also support the career development of trainee counsellors at Edge Hill University, who will provide sessions under supervision from The Mind Map and First Person Project’s experienced teams. 

As part of this new project, The Mind Map, in partnership with First Person Project, will be training young people in vital Mental Health First Aid skills.

The Mind Map has previously provided Mental Health First Aid training to some of the UK’s largest organisations, including eBay, Facebook, Netflix and the NHS.

They’ll also be running free sessions on employability, confidence, financial resilience and community capacity building as part of the Talk It Out programme.

To find out more and book free counselling sessions, please visit: www.themindmap.co.uk

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