As a school we have been working with Carl Moreton the founder of MyFutureSelf, the mentoring service working with young people across Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire.

A recent national survey by YoungMinds found that just under 85% of young people self-report deteriorating mental health during this pandemic, including increased anxiety, problems with sleep, panic attacks or more frequent urges to self-harm. Whilst the NHS have also found that one in three young people experience bullying.

Concerningly, the majority of mental health support for young people is provided by education settings. With most young people now learning from home, they are trying to cope alone. Yet, without guided support and mentoring, it can be hard for young people to process what they are experiencing. Carl would like to start a conversation about young people and their mental health.

This pandemic is hard for everyone. Whilst some may not outwardly show it, not being around friends, missing school and spending a lot of time within the same four walls is always hard to cope with. It is important to acknowledge these emotions and understand that they are normal reactions to present circumstances, but please talk about them openly and transparently. Nobody wins from staying silent.

Carl has been working with young people throughout the pandemic to support them with their emotional wellbeing, relationship issues, confidence and self-esteem, and in doing so has observed the following issues which are outlined in this editorial.