On the Isle of Wight there are various available mental health services and support structures, but are young people receiving the support they need?

Becca Beeney is on the County Press Young Reporter Scheme and has looked into the issue.

Mental health is a component of our overall health and can affect our physical health too. It can affect the way we feel, think and act. Just like our physical health, it is something that everyone has and that we need to take care of.

The IW Youth Trust, a charity on the Island which supports the mental health and wellbeing of young Islanders, carried out a census which highlights the need for adequate support for young people on the Island. Their most recent census found that:

-63% of respondants often feel unhappy, down or tearful.

-77% of respondants have been worrying a lot.

- 41% feel terribly alone and isolated. 

These statistics bring to our attention and shed light on some of the challenges that young people across the Island face.

Students at Christ the King College have mixed opinions on the mental health support available for our young Islanders, with some seeing valuable support and assistance and others seeing the need for increased awareness and easier access.

Year 10 student, Darcey Morgan, said: "There is some good support - like at Christ the King we have pastoral and lots of help available if you’re struggling.”

Whereas 14-year-old Susannah Cooke said: “I think there is some support but most things that people can access have long waiting lists. I think there should be more support and more awareness should be spread to help people understand more.”

Imogen Netherway said: “ I think the mental health support available is too difficult to access. There is not enough urgency surrounding the mental health of young people, not only on the Isle of Wight but all over the world.” 

To further the support available, the NHS is transforming the former HMV store into a mental health hub in Newport town centre, encouraging Islanders to talk about their mental health.

The Isle of Wight and the rest of the UK marks Men's Mental Health month every November and celebrates World Mental Health day on September 10 annually.

This shows that awareness is being spread and open dialogue around mental health is being encouraged. 

The actions being taken and events such as World Mental Health Day show how we are becoming more aware of the importance of mental health as a society, yet many think that more work remains to ensure that all young people are receiving the support that they need.