Current Mental Health Project

Bright Paths Free Mental Health Support for School-Age Children (6-18)

Bright Paths vision is for all children and young people to have the support they need when they need it, enabling them to build lifelong coping skills and thrive. We believe that no child or young person should have to face mental health problems alone and that every child deserves the time and space to be heard. Now, with the support of our funders, we are providing free mentoring and group workshops for children with emerging mental health concerns from Hertsmere & WCH communities.

Why is early mental health support important?

Imagine you’re thirteen years old. You’re feeling worried all the time and struggling to cope. Your Mum is concerned and takes you to the GP where you are finally referred to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), but the waiting list is up to 18 months. When you are eventually seen, they don’t help you. You’re not ‘high risk enough’. You’re offered no real support, just signposted to a list of apps and phone numbers you can use independently. Your mental health gets worse. School becomes more difficult. Your self-esteem, resilience and trust in adults being able to help is crushed.

At Bright Paths, our mission is to support children and young people’s social, emotional and mental health needs. Our projects focus on early, proactive and preventative measures. Research demonstrates that the earlier a young person gets help for their mental health, the more effective it will be.

Our services differ from alternative mental health services and school outreach provisions, we focus our efforts on those young people who would otherwise fall between the cracks. These young people are often not eligible for typical avenues of support but are still very much in need. With a little early targetted support, they are likely to avoid the need for further intensive and costly intervention later on down the line.

Bright Paths view all behaviour as communication; when a child begins acting out, exhibiting new behaviours or courageously breaking the stigma surrounding mental health and asking for help, we need to provide it. 

Our current funded projects will be provided on an outreach basis through schools in our community. We have the provision in place to change to virtual support via zoom if Covid-19 restrictions tighten.

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Young people who would otherwise fall between the cracks

The young people Bright Paths help with these projects are often from schools and families with limited budgets to spend on therapies and preventative measures. The young people are often viewed as, or told they are:

  •  not “severe” enough for counselling or CHAMHs
  • not “naughty” enough for ESC/PRU outreach
  • “too high functioning” for SEN schools but struggling in a mainstream environment 
  • on an ever-growing waiting list (up to 18 months) for assessment but need intervention now. 
  • overreacting or attention-seeking

BrightPaths are here for those young people. To help them feel safe and heard. To strive, to understand and help them build a support network of safe and trusted adults and teach grounding and coping techniques to understand and manage their feelings and behaviours. 

The main aim of these projects is to provide early mental health and wellbeing support to children who would not otherwise be able or eligible to access it.

The benefits of Bright Paths mentoring:

As a result of our evidence-based mentorship and support, the young people we work with typically experience a steady increase in:

  • Resilience and self-esteem.
  • Improved emotional literacy.
  • Decreased worries, stress and anxiety.
  • Better communication and social skills.
  • Stronger friendships.
  • Mental health awareness.

Reachout Herts Project

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The Hertfordshire Community Foundation has provided funding for Bright Paths to deliver vital support to children from the Hertsmere borough.

We support primary and secondary aged children via school outreach provision, with a focus on emerging mental health concerns.

Schools eligible to enrol in the project must be from Aldenham, Borehamwood, Bushey, Elstree, Potters Bar, Radlett, Shenley and South Mimms.

Referrals from children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, particularly those from Borehamwood will be prioritised.

Watford Community Housing Project

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Watford Community Housing has granted us match funding to provide school based support for children and young people within WCH communities, and the schools within their communities. Schools may be asked to pay a small percentage towards support for this programme.

Bright Paths 1:1 mentoring and small group workshops are available to support emerging mental health concerns.

The geographic areas covered by this project include residents from, and schools within:

  • Boundary Way
  • Brush Rise & Foxhill
  • Central, Croxley & Oxhey
  • Courtlands, Rookery & Vicarage
  • Edward Amey
  • Garston
  • Harebreaks
  • Hillside
  • Holywell
  • Leavesden
  • Meriden
  • Mill End
  • Radlett Road
  • Sherwoods
  • Tudor & Callowland
  • Woodside

Topics covered

  • Emerging mental health concerns such as worries, anxiety and low mood
  • Developing resilience and self-esteem
  • Emotional regulation (understanding and managing big feelings)
  • Social and communication skills
  • Friendships and issues surrounding bullying
  • Growth mindset and goal setting
  • and more…

Parents and Families – What next?

If you live in the Hertsmere Borough or a WCH area and your child would benefit from support with their self-esteem, social skills or emotional wellbeing, let us know. We can fully ensure your child’s school is aware of BrightPaths current projects and invite them to consider making a referral.

School Outreach – Next steps

BrightPaths endeavours to contact all schools eligible to partake in our projects, however, on occasion we cannot find the correct staff member’s contact details. When this happens, we default to the school admin email but often these emails are missed.

If you have not heard from us by 1st January 2022, please get in touch using our contact form or by email. Our projects are popular, and as such, we recommend expressing your school’s interest as soon as possible.

As always, schools which are not eligible for current projects can opt to buy into BrightPaths support packages at any time. For more information click here.

Thank you to our funders, on behalf of BrightPaths and the schools, families and children we support.

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