Changing the odds

Our strategy 2022-2025

Our vision is clear, we want to see an Island where children and young people’s mental health needs are well recognised and supported.

This strategy is ambitious because it needs to be – good mental health begins in childhood.

Co-produced with young islanders, parents, staff and trustees, funders and supporters this strategy sets out how we plan to make a positive difference. With the voices of children and young people at its core, we will work with them to ensure they get the support they need, when they need it, empowering them to face life’s challenges.

Read our strategy in full

Photo of Jo Dare, CEO of the Isle of Wight Youth Trust against a wall
“We need to find new ways of responding to the mental health needs of our Island children and young people so that we can support sooner and prevent the likelihood of crisis.”
Jo Dare

Now more than ever

After the most challenging of times during the pandemic, there has been a huge increase in the numbers of children and young people needing our support.

Current waiting times are increasing across many different services. Waiting is so hard when life doesn’t feel worth living, when you wake up so anxious that getting into school is impossible, when the only way to release your feelings is to lash out at others or cut yourself. What was challenging becomes more difficult or a crisis the longer you wait, sometimes getting pushed between services.

We have called our new strategy ‘Changing the Odds’ because this is what we need to do. 1 in 6 children and young people now have probable mental health support needs – these odds have increased by a third from 1 in 9 in 2017. We need to reverse this trend and reduce the odds of children and young people developing mental health support needs.

New purpose

Understanding the challenges facing young people, has given us new purpose. We will listen to, and work with, young islanders and their families so they can get the help they need, when they need it,
to support their mental health and emotional wellbeing. We will campaign for change that has a positive impact on young people.

Graphic of a text conversation

Ambition 1

More children and young people have a say in the things that matter to them, and help shape the services they need.

We will increase the influence young Islanders have in the Youth Trust. Engaging them in conversations about youth mental health services on the Isle of Wight and create opportunities for young people to have a say in other things that impact their mental health.

Ambition 2

Getting the right information and help earlier, when it’s needed

We will ensure young people are more informed about the support available to them and increase access to support earlier. We will get more people talking about mental health and support parents and carers to develop the confidence to support their young people’s mental health and wellbeing.

Ambition 3

Getting the right help quickly when things get more difficult

We will ensure children and young people get the right support, at the right time first time. We will ensure they get support sooner, when they need it and develop ‘step up, step down’ support to aid transition between services if needs escalate or out of counselling sessions as appropriate.

Find out more about us and our work