Saddleworth Youth Committee unveils ambitious plans to tackle mental health problems

AMBITIOUS plans to help raise awareness and tackle mental health problems among young people will be launched by Saddleworth Youth Committee in the new year.

Joe Wheeler

Joe Wheeler, chair of the committee, gave the Saddleworth and Lees District Partnership meeting a brief insight into their aims but is keeping the full details secret until the launch.

He explained SYC has been working closely with Saddleworth School to work out what issues young people in the community want to see addressed.

A ballot box was sent to the school so students could vote on topics they want action to be taken on, both locally and nationally.

Top of the poll, with 32 percent of the votes, was putting an end to knife crime. Second was homelessness with 19 percent and third was mental health with 13 percent.

Joe said: “The committee used the voting to look at what young people want to focus on and so we decided to tackle mental health.”

They recently met with Tony Burke of Saddleworth Rotary Club to see how they can work together on projects.

Initial plans include supporting pupils in year 6 at primary schools as they move into year 7 at secondary schools, and also year 11 pupils who have stressful exams and are moving onto college.

Joe explained: “We’re working on the project now and getting ready to launch something in February as that is when transition planning starts in schools.

“We want to get it set up in Saddleworth and then work with Oldham Youth Council to get it in place throughout the borough and help as many young people as we can.”

Cllr Jamie Curley, a Saddleworth and OMBC councillor, helped set up SPC last year with Cllr Katrina Roman.

He said: “They have some great ideas and this project will have a positive impact on a lot of young people’s lives.”

Meanwhile, the police are continuing their visits into local schools to talk about key messages and hard-hitting topics such as knife crime and one-punch murders.

They recently spent time at Saddleworth School talking to year 7 and 10 pupils, who took part in interactive activities, and a number of certificates were handed out.

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