A Perth mental health project is attempting to raise new funds to continue to support young people after an 800% surge in demand for their service.
The Walled Garden Café is looking to sustain its youth projects with key Scottish Government funding due to end in March.
It received £77,404 from the government’s Aspiring Communities Fund in November 2017 as part of the Perth and Kinross Association of Voluntary Service (PKAVS).
The cash has helped employ two activity engagement workers and to launch the Lost in Transition project, which increases the representation of young people accessing mental health support.
After starting with six clients between the age of 16-25 at the start of November, the group has now dealt with 50 young people referrals, an increase of 833%.
With the world celebrating World Mental Health Day on Wednesday, the café hopes it can build on their success to help more local young people in the future.
Sarah Oelmez, hub manager, said: “We had a four-month research programme into why young people were not coming into our service.
“After the completion of the project, we secured the fund from the Scottish Government.
“We are a service that is open to 16-year-olds and above but historically we have had difficulty getting young people involved.
“There is a lot of young people out there needing help with their mental health.
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“A lot of young people experience symptoms of mental health problems but it’s scary for them and they don’t walk in to our service and say they need help.
“Six young people were involved with the service in November 2017 but we have since had 50 referrals come through.
“We had to reach out to 30 young people by March 2019 as part of the fund but we beat that in six months.
“We want to continue the work we are doing with young people and hope we can continue to do so with a new fund.”
The Walled Garden Café aims to offer a tranquil haven for people having issues with their mental health.
The café is staffed by the project’s clients, as a way of giving them new skills, experience and confidence, and sells homemade soups, sandwiches, baked potatoes, salads and cakes.
It gives clients the opportunity to spend time gardening, playing music and working in the art studio to build practical skills and be mindful with other people.
If you need any support or information, call PKAVS on 01738 631777.