Training adults to support young people’s mental health

Liz Sorton introduces her new mental health training project

Liz Sorton is working with UnLtd and Bountagu Big Local on delivering mental health training to adults who work with young people in Edmonton (credit Natalie Gee)
Liz Sorton is working with UnLtd and Bountagu Big Local on delivering mental health training to adults who work with young people in Edmonton (credit Natalie Gee)

Three years ago I was interested to find out more about what was happening in the local area with regards to community safety and positive activities for young people, so I started attending Enfield Council community safety meetings.

Through these I discovered UnLtd, an organisation that offers cash awards, networking and mentorship opportunities for social entrepreneurs in the UK. In Edmonton, UnLtd is partnering with Bountagu Big Local to find social entrepreneurs in the area who have ideas to make a positive, lasting difference to their community.

Young people are still being affected by serious youth violence, as well as the impact of the pandemic on their education. Having already been working locally as a consultant and trainer with Edmonton Community Partnership, I realised an impactful way to support young people with their mental health would be through training the trusted adults they already had in their lives to be youth mental health first aiders; for example by training their school teachers, staff in their youth groups, elders within their religious community, and staff from their sports clubs.

This is where the idea for my UnLtd project started to form. Supported by my mentor Zoe White, I was successful in winning an UnLtd award to deliver my training project and I will now be delivering courses to train twelve new youth mental health first aiders, who can then join organisations that work with young people in and around the Bountagu area of Edmonton (Montagu and Bounces roads).

The two-day courses are for everyone who works with, lives with, or supports young people aged between eight and 18 years. I will teach the skills and confidence to spot the signs of mental health issues in young people, offer first aid, and guide them towards the support they need. In doing so, these adults can speed up a young person’s recovery and stop a mental health issue from getting worse.

I’d like to thank UnLtd for believing in my project and I am looking forward to delivering it. My discounted September online course is now available for bookings, on a first-come, first-served basis. The deadline for registering is Monday, 16th August.

To get in touch with Liz about her mental health training project:
Email [email protected]

For more information about the support offered by UnLtd:
Visit unltd.org.uk