Children’s mental health charity say referrals have ‘almost trebled’

Posted: 16th April 2024

SENIOR figures at a children’s mental health charity have told how referrals to their service have almost trebled in recent years as they welcome a £200k windfall to support their vital work.

A spike in referrals relating to domestic violence, youngsters experiencing grief and loss and other serious issues have been observed by staff at Mind Mosaic Child and Family Therapies.

Chief executive Sandra Boyle and team leader Stephen Crawford have highlighted the vital work done by their staff at the charity’s headquarters in Ladyburn Business Centre in tackling these problems.

The good cause has just received a six-figure sum from the National Lottery Community Fund’s improving lives programme, which will help support their efforts for another two years.

Chief executive and child and family therapist Sandra said: “We’re over the moon and delighted that the National Lottery Community fund have decided to continue to fund us for another two years.

“The referrals to our services show that children and parents are facing many more complex issues post-Covid than ever before.

“We’re seeing such a high number of referrals coming through relating to family breakdown, suicide, depressed feelings, extreme anxiety, trauma, the impact of the cost-of-living crisis, gender identity issues, neurodiversity, domestic violence, coercive abuse, school refusal and feelings of isolation.

“That’s just a snapshot of the comprehensive and complicated list.

“Those things always made up part of our referrals but there’s just such a pressure now for more, I would say there are almost three times the referrals now.

“It’s not just the child at the centre of the referral with the mental health issue or the distress psychological issue, it’s the parents as well, so we’re supporting the whole family.”

Sandra says that yearly referrals to the charity are now in the high hundreds, as the cost-of-living crisis continues to affect the wellbeing of local families.

She added: “This particular [lottery] money will help us to continue with the work that we’re doing, which is much needed.

“In this cost-of-living crisis and the times we’re living in post-Covid, all of the charities are chasing the same funding and people are having to do much more in terms of fundraising to keep their organisations going.

“This money is a blessing really, it means that we can continue to deliver what we have done and a bit more.

“Very young children will come into the room, and they will talk about the fact that they don’t have food or that mum and dad are struggling.

“In our waiting room we’ve set up a wee unofficial food share, the staff bring in food and we put it on the shelves.

“We don’t draw attention to it, we just leave a message saying that people can take what they need and people do. It’s quite sad.”

Since the pandemic the staff have see a big rise in the number of children dealing with bereavement, as well as a spike in domestic violence cases and a major increase in the number of refugees and asylum seekers who need support.

They say they have also been helping a significant number of children who have found it hard to get back into school following the global shutdown.

Stephen said: “What’s unique about us is we don’t just work with the child in isolation, we also provide support for the family.

“We help parents understand the issues and provide strategies and techniques that they can use at home to help the child.”

Source – Children’s mental health charity say referrals have ‘almost trebled’ (

Categories: Mental Health