A Wirral youth charity is strengthening its team of trained mental health first aiders as part of a ground-breaking new initiative.

In a bold move, supported by Wirral Community Health & Care NHS Foundation Trust, The Hive is launching its 'Bee Amazing' initiative, designed to help identify potential issues and support young people by "giving them someone to talk to" and encouraging mental wellbeing.

A recent NHS survey has found that a staggering one in six young people suffered with some kind of mental health issue in 2021.

The survey of more than 3,600 young people found 17 per cent of children aged 6 to 16 have a probable mental health disorder, with the same rate for teenagers aged 17 to 19.

The Hive's chief executive Stuart Barnes said experienced youth workers are often best placed to support young people struggling with mental wellbeing. He added: "Often our youth workers are the only trusted adult in our young peoples lives.

"They are uniquely placed to be someone our young people can talk to and through their mental health training they can identify more serious issues and make the necessary referrals to more specialist colleagues where necessary.

"By working in partnership with Wirral NHS trust we are confident we can make a real difference at a grass roots level, champion mental wellbeing and draft in additional support where needed."

Wirral Globe:

Young people at The Hive. Picture courtesy of Hive Youth Zone

The Hive Youth Zone provides activities and experiences for young people from across the borough.

Since opening in 2017, the Birkenhead-based charity has had more than 1/3 million visits from youngsters aged eight to 19 - up to age 25 for young people with a disability.

Its aim is to help raised aspirations, improve health and wellbeing, enhance prospects and increase the confidence and self-esteem of young people.

The Hive works with up to 3,000 young people each year from across Wirral, giving them somewhere to go, something to do and someone to talk to.

Operating seven days a week, young people can choose from over 20 activities each session including sports, arts, music, climbing, cooking and much more.

The team also delivers developmental and support programmes such as young leaders’ courses, employability schemes and a ground-breaking mentoring programme.

Wirral Globe:

Young person at The Hive. Picture courtesy of Hive Youth Zone

Chief executive Stuart Barnes said: "It's important to stress that we are not mental health experts at The Hive, but through our amazing youth work team we are in a unique position to help support our young people on their wellbeing journey and build their mental resilience.

"We are currently in the process of strengthening our youth working team, all of whom will become fully trained mental health first aiders.

"Many of our young people live in challenging circumstances so the projects, activities and support we offer at The Hive are a vital lifeline in helping them safeguard their mental health and achieve their full potential.

Wirral Globe:

Young person at The Hive. Picture courtesy of Hive Youth Zone

"It's shocking when you consider that approximately 40% of all young people on Wirral are currently living in poverty.

"These kind of challenges can impact hugely on both their physical and mental wellbeing and we feel a huge sense of responsibility to help support our young people in their journey to adulthood."

To find out more about the ground-breaking work happening at The Hive or to pledge your support, visit: www.thehiveyouthzone.org