space to breathe

The number of teenagers with mental health problems has doubled in the last 20 years.

Will you help us give them space to breathe?

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24/7 pressure

“I feel like I can’t control my actions and thoughts.”

“When I get angry, I’m a completely different person.”

One in five young people now has a mental health condition. It’s a very serious situation, with hospital admissions for self-harm up two-thirds in ten years. The causes are complex and uncertain, but in all our work with Berkshire’s young people we hear that they face 24/7 pressure from all sides:

  • Increased focus on school assessments and exams
  • Worrying about entering a more competitive world of work
  • Financial troubles at home
  • Relationship confusion and pressure in a world of sexting and porn
  • The need to keep up appearances online, projecting a beautiful, successful and happy image
  • Pressure to keep up with the smartphone generation’s ‘always on’ social life
  • No safe space away from peer pressure and bullying

We face a mental health epidemic – but waiting lists are so long that teenagers can wait up to a year to receive help.

Inside Out: creating space to breathe

Student artworkThat’s why Soulscape started Inside Out. We go into Wokingham and Bracknell secondary schools to teach practical, self-help strategies for coping with life’s pressures, including simple breathing techniques. We create a safe space to stop, reflect, talk, and express what’s on the inside.

Creative arts have a positive effect on mental wellbeing, but young people are getting less time for them in the curriculum. A big part of Inside Out is giving teenagers complete freedom to express their thoughts and feelings through art, helped by professional artists.

“We could express things through art that I find hard to talk about. We should do more like this in the future.”

Schools want more

“One student has had a really difficult week with anxiety and today was the first time she went to all her lessons and I saw her smile – what an impact.”

Both students and staff have really valued Inside Out this year, and schools in Bracknell and Wokingham want us to run it again. But with schools facing budget cuts, we need to raise the funds ourselves to bring the programme back in 2019/20. Could you help?

What could you give?

£10 pays for two young people to take part in Inside Out
£15 pays for acrylic paint for the creative workshop
£25 hires a professional artist to help students express themselves
£60 funds a class of 30 students through the mental wellbeing workshop
£100 buys all the art resources we would use at one school
£500 funds some of Inside Out’s project management