Anxiety is on the rise – and not just in adults. In 2022, a record 420,000 children a month were treated for mental health problems in the UK alone. In addition, the World Health Organisation noted a 25% increase – globally – in anxiety and depression during the pandemic. However, the unfortunate truth is that specialist services are overstretched, and many young people who need mental health support are either forced to join a long waiting list or to develop their own coping mechanisms. In light of this, and in recognition of Children’s Mental Health Week (which takes place annually in February), we wanted to talk about anxiety in young people and the fantastic service that charities like the Isle of Wight Youth Trust are providing to local communities.


What is anxiety – and how can we support young people suffering from it?

Feeling worried is part of the cycle of growing up. Young people experience huge changes, after all – from changing schools to making new friends and studying new things – so it’s natural that they don’t feel completely relaxed all of the time.


However, anxiety is not simply feeling worried; and it’s not something a young person can simply ‘snap out of’. Anxiety is categorised as a ‘feeling of unease, such as worry or fear’ and can be experienced in a number of different ways (as physical sensations, for example, as well as feelings). As a condition, it can be severe. If a young person feels seriously affected by anxiety, it can really get in the way of their life: restricting their actions and lifestyle to a debilitating degree, causing them to feel out of control and isolated, and often leaving them in a state of exhaustion.


But help is at hand – however it may feel, children and their families are not alone. Trailblazing mental health and wellbeing charities like the Isle of Wight Youth Trust, with whom Cherry Godfrey are proud sponsors, they are here to support young people, parents/carers, and professionals.


Pioneering the values of trust, kindness, positivity and collaboration, the Youth Trust is trying to ‘change the odds’: reversing the current trend, which has seen an enormous rise in the number of children with mental health support needs (up by a third from 2017 – from one in 9 children to one in six children requiring support), and finding new ways of responding to mental health needs in order to prevent the likelihood of crisis.


Isle of Wight Youth Trust and Cherry Godfrey

Formed in 1985, the Youth Trust is now the Island’s largest independent provider of youth mental health and wellbeing services.

Isle of Wight Youth Trust is campaigning for change that has a positive impact on young people, believing that ‘‘life can be hard but accessing support shouldn’t be.’ At the heart of their mission are three core ambitions:

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

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

·         Getting the right help quickly when things get more difficult.


Led by an expert team and supported by local partners and volunteers, the charity aims to empower young people to face life’s challenges, listening to – and working with – young islanders, and providing therapeutic support.

Youth Trust is there to help families, too: each week practitioners run group sessions for parents and carers. These sessions, which are free to attend, cover a variety of different topics around mental health and wellbeing.

Cherry Godfrey are delighted to sponsor the weekly Anxiety Information Session, which focuses on supporting young people with anxiety. The techniques covered will help parents to identify the signs and symptoms of anxiety, as well as giving valuable insight on social anxiety, phobias and school refusal.


To learn more about the amazing work undertaken by the Isle of Wight Youth Trust - and the different kinds of support on offer - please visit their website or connect with the charity on social media.

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