A DOUBLE DECKER bus will travel around the Isle of Wight to tackle mental health next week as part of the Isle of Wight Youth Trust's new initiative, the Mental Health Roadshow.

Part of Mental Health Awareness Week, the roadshow is the brainchild of the trust's Youth Task Force — a group of service users and young people passionate about improving mental health services on the Island.

The roadshow will visit 12 locations in the hope of reaching 2,000 young people.

It aims to provide young people with the opportunity to hear from others who have overcome mental health issues and to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health.

Executive director, Mairead Healy, said: "It's about the young people from our task force leading the way and sharing the services we offer.

"It's important to listen to users and be guided by them. It's what makes us unique as the leading provider of youth mental health services on the Island — we are led by the young people."

The trust has 16 outreach clinics in the heart of communities, such as schools or GP surgeries, that all offer one-to-one professional counselling.

This means the Youth Trust can identify those in need through early intervention and equip them with the tools they need before they reach a point of crisis.

Although their busiest year to date, the past year has also been the trust's most successful.

They have supported a third of the young people with mental health issues on the Island in the past 12 months.

"The staff at the Youth Trust have done amazing work and have really stepped up to the extra demand.

"I would like to thank Southern Vectis for donating a bus for the week and Wightlink for sponsoring the event as without good will from the local community, the work we do wouldn't be possible.

"I want to encourage everyone to get involved with awareness week and start talking about mental health.

"Having these conversations in your own home with your parents or families can be extremely helpful and if you see someone who is down and not enjoying the things they did previously, take the time to start the conversation."

The roadshow is using the hashtag #youmatter as a sign of solidarity and support — nothing is too big or too small, you do matter and should seek help if you need support.