Young people’s mental health and wellbeing is a constant topic of discussion in the media. In recent times, the impact of the lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic on young people’s mental health has received even greater focus, but many of the issues relating to mental health and wellbeing pre-date the arrival of COVID-19 in Northern Ireland.
The Empowering Young People’s (EYP) Programme, from the National Lottery Community Fund’s (NLCF) Northern Ireland directorate, was launched in March 2015 and is making £44.4 million available to fund activities in communities until 2027.
The EYP programme supports 85 projects that give young people in Northern Ireland, aged 8-25 years, the ability to cope with challenges in their lives.
The LINKS Support Network, facilitated by the National Children’s Bureau (NCB), is delivered to all of the organisations grant aided by the NLCF under the EYP Programme.
The aim of the LINKS programme is to facilitate shared learning, enhance practice and encourage the involvement of young people in all aspects of the projects.
This Insight Report from the LINKS team:
- Provides the local context in terms of children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing in Northern Ireland
- Summarises the latest policy developments relating to mental health and wellbeing
- Explores definitions of mental health and wellbeing; identifies protective factors for mental health and wellbeing and programmes of work that seek to build mental health and wellbeing
- Examines some regional initiatives and local case study examples of practice from LINKS grant holders that aim to build positive mental health and wellbeing with young people
- Highlights key learning points
- Includes a reference and a resource list for further exploration into building mental health and wellbeing with young people.
Given the mix of evidence and practice examples, this resource will be of interest to policymakers and commissioners in drawing upon what is working on the ground in Northern Ireland to support young people, as well as front-line practitioners.