Isle of Wight Youth Trust Launches 2023 Island Youth Mental Health Census asking young Islanders to #InformtoTransform Mental Health and Wellbeing Services.
The Isle of Wight Youth Trust, the Islands largest independent mental health charity, has launched its 4th Biannual Youth Mental Health Census to gain insights into the mental health and wellbeing of young Islanders. The Census is part of the Trust’s commitment to providing high-quality mental health and wellbeing support to children and young people in the local community.
The 2023 Island Youth Mental Health Census is open to all young people aged 7-25 who live or study on the Isle of Wight. The Census will gather information on the experiences of young people, including relationships, social media, wellbeing, coping mechanisms, and engagement with services. The data collected from the census will be used to inform the Trust’s work and develop targeted mental health services to meet the needs of young people.
Jo Dare, CEO of the Isle of Wight Youth Trust explains:
“With continuing unprecedented demand for our services, our Island Youth Mental Health Census is a vital tool that helps us understand the mental health needs of young people in our community. The insights we gain from the Census will enable us to shape our services, advocate for improved mental health provision, and raise awareness of the challenges young people face.”
Over the past 6 years the Trust has received over 10,000 responses to their surveys, which have highlighted the significant challenges facing young people on the Island and unearthed some alarming trends. In the last census, conducted in 2021, a quarter of respondents did not feel positive about their future, three quarters had been worrying a lot, and more than two thirds often felt unhappy, down or tearful.
Kathy Whitewood, IOW Youth Trust Head of Counselling and Wellbeing comments:
“As the world has moved forward from the COVID-19 pandemic we have become acutely aware of the ongoing impact on young people’s mental health and wellbeing. The 2023 Census will help us better understand the changing mental health needs of young people and ensure our services remain relevant and effective.”
The Isle of Wight Youth Trust is a youth led organisation that strives to engage and include young people in the conversation around mental health. The Youth Trust Taskforce, founded following the first Census in 2017, are a committed group of young Islanders who meet once a month to guide and inform the charity.
Taskforce Members, Charlotte and Maria, highlight the importance of young Islanders completing the survey:
“Please fill in the Census so there can be a better understanding of the needs and issues of young people on the island” – Charlotte (17)
“The Census demonstrates the needs of young people to those who can make a difference” – Marie (18)
The Isle of Wight Youth Trust’s 4th Biannual Youth Mental Health Census is open for participation from now until the 31st March 2023. Young people can access the census online at: iowyouthtrust.co.uk/2023-census
Links to the Census have been shared with all island’s primary schools and secondary schools as well as training providers, youth organisations and groups encouraging them to ask their children and young people to complete it. In addition to contributing and having their say, children and young people completing the survey – who give their permission – can be included in a draw where gift vouchers can be won.
The Youth Trust will be publicly releasing findings from this Census later in the year.