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Frequently Asked Questions

Bright Paths is dedicated to helping children and young people lead mentally positive and healthy lives. We hope this site has given you a glimmer of hope that help is available. Below is a list of frequently asked questions often posed by children, young people, schools and parents/guardians.

General

At Bright Paths, our mission is resolute: to empower children and young people by bridging gaps in emotional well-being support services, nurturing their emotional, academic, and social growth, and paving the way for brighter futures. We understand the critical importance of early intervention in bolstering mental well-being and preventing the escalation of potential mental health issues. By ensuring every child and young person has timely access to emotional well-being support through accessible interventions and workshops, we strive to instil protective factors from the outset.

Guided by principles of compassion, integrity, creativity, and excellence, we tirelessly work to enhance mental health, reduce stigma, and dismantle barriers to learning. Through therapeutic services, community engagement, and collaborative partnerships with schools, we empower children to flourish, fostering a culture where seeking help is encouraged and wholeheartedly supported.

Our team comprises highly experienced professionals with expertise in child development, psychology, counselling, and related fields. Each member undergoes a DBS check and holds safeguarding and child protection training. Additionally, our staff regularly participate in Continuous Professional Development (CPD) activities, including courses such as Mental Health First Aid, Child Sexual Exploitation, Introduction to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), and Early Trauma, as well as the Certificate in Understanding Children and Young People’s Mental Health, among others. Rest assured, your child is in safe hands.

At our organisation, evaluation holds great importance. We consistently track and assess our programs to ensure that they are impactful and cater to the requirements of the children and young individuals we assist. We utilise assessments before and after the intervention to gauge progress and highly value feedback from students, schools, or parents upon completing each program.

Accessing our services is simple. You can refer a child through schools, local authorities, or professionals (school outreach) or opt for self-referral (Y.E.S. Mentoring). We’ve also made our referral form available directly through our website.

Absolutely! Our mentors and behaviour consultants are not just experts; many of them are also neurodiverse themselves. They’re trained and experienced in providing support tailored to the needs of children with special educational needs. We’re here to ensure every child gets the support they deserve.

Bright Paths stands out for its holistic early approach to emotional well-being support. We not only address immediate concerns but also focus on long-term growth and development, collaborating closely with schools, parents, and professionals. Our goal is to proactively support children in developing protective factors for mental health and preventing a decline in well-being.

At Bright Paths, confidentiality and privacy are paramount. We adhere to strict guidelines to safeguard the information and privacy of all individuals receiving our services. That said, we work holistically to ensure that any strategies learned can be shared with schools and families to ensure long-term positive outcomes.

Our services cater to children and young people facing various emotional challenges, such as anxiety, self-esteem issues, and difficulties with emotional regulation. We support children aged 6-18, extending up to 24 if they have SEN.

Bright Paths Support CIC is more than just an organisation; it’s a lifeline for children and young people. We are committed to empowering them through specialised emotional well-being support. Our mission is to offer early intervention for those at risk of poor mental well-being or who may not fit into existing support structures.

Additionally, as a Community Interest Company (CIC), Bright Paths is a social enterprise that prioritises social impact over profits. Like traditional charities, CICs are legally obligated to reinvest their profits into achieving their social goals, ensuring that every penny earned is dedicated to supporting our mission of helping children and young people thrive emotionally.

School Support: Our registered office is in Silsoe. However, our mentors work on an outreach basis in schools across Bedford, Central Bedfordshire, Luton, and some areas within Hertfordshire (Hertsmere Borough & Watford).

Family Support: Some of our services, such as weekly mentoring, are available nationwide via phone, email, Zoom and Teams. In addition to giving young people a time and place to be heard and reflect, topics that work well include building self-esteem and managing anxiety and low mood.

Contact us to book a free consultation where we can help discuss which type of support is best for your school or family.

Pricing

At present, we offer a 15% discount for students from low-income families, as evidenced by pupil premium eligibility, as well as for young carers and looked-after children. Please note that the availability of this discount is subject to change depending on funding levels and restrictions. We remain committed to ensuring that vulnerable children and young people have access to the support they need, and we will adjust our discount policies accordingly to best serve their needs within our means.

Some schools and individuals may be eligible for free or highly discounted support, depending upon the funding opportunities available.

Your initial discovery meeting is completely free, so please get in touch with us to discuss your requirements and we can give you an accurate quote and let you know if there are any funding options available.

Schools may consider using pupil premium to fund BrightPaths Provision. (Therapy, counselling and specialist provision are recognised uses of pupil premium.) For more information, view our Price List.

Alternatively, If your school urgently requires mental health support for your students in the wake of the pandemic, you can apply for up to £4,000 worth of mental health provision from within the Now and Beyond community of approved and vetted providers. Now and Beyond has launched the UK’s first online database of approved mental health and wellbeing providers for young people. It’s a one-stop shop for educators searching for local provisions and BrightPaths are proud to be a part of it. Apply for funding here.

School Services

Many schools utilise their pupil premium budget to fund Bright Paths Provision; therapy, counselling, and specialist provision are recognised uses of pupil premium. When this is not an option, parents in a position to do so may wish to self-fund, and we are happy to facilitate this.

Additionally, we offer subsidies for pupil premium students, look after children, and young carers. In situations where there is genuinely no way to fund a student’s support, please get in touch, as we really don’t want to see any child go unsupported. Don’t forget, there is also the option of Y.E.S mentoring.

Absolutely. We offer comprehensive training sessions and workshops for school staff covering a wide range of topics, including mental health awareness. Our training modules encompass recognising signs of distress, supporting students’ emotional well-being, and implementing effective strategies within the school setting.

Additionally, we provide specialised training programs tailored to understanding neurodiversity and making reasonable adjustments, with a particular focus on addressing the needs of girls. Stay updated with our latest blogs for information on new training programs, or feel free to reach out to us if there’s a specific need within your school that you’d like to address.

Services

While both support avenues support children and young people, mentoring, therapy, and counselling have different processes and purposes:

Mentoring:

  • Focus: Empowering young people to thrive by building confidence, developing life skills, and achieving goals.
  • Setting: Informal and flexible, often in community-based settings like schools or online.
  • Approach: Solution-oriented, helping young people identify their strengths and develop healthy coping mechanisms.
  • Relationship: Longer-term, supportive connection with a positive role model who provides guidance and encouragement.
  • Examples: Developing self-esteem and communication skills, navigating social challenges, setting academic goals, managing stress and anxiety, and exploring talents and interests.

Counselling &Therapy:

  • Focus: Treating specific mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, or trauma.
  • Setting: Clinical or professional environment often with long waiting lists and high thresholds for statutory support.
  • Approach: Diagnostic and therapeutic, using evidence-based techniques to address underlying issues.
  • Relationship: Professional interaction with a qualified therapist.
  • Examples: Processing past experiences, managing emotional difficulties, and learning coping strategies for moderate to severe mental health conditions.

Think of it this way:

  • Mentoring: Helps young people build resilience and reach their full potential.
  • Therapy: Focuses on treating specific mental health concerns.

BrightPaths offers mentoring programs that complement therapy, providing a safe space for young people to grow and thrive.

Mentors provide individualised support and guidance to children, often voluntarily, while behaviour consultants specialise in addressing behavioural, social, and emotional needs through targeted interventions, typically delivered in local schools.

Students who receive 1:1 support and participate in our group workshops consistently demonstrate significant improvements across multiple areas. They report enhanced emotional well-being, increased self-esteem, and improved coping skills. Furthermore, they often experience advancements in academic performance, stronger social relationships, and an overall enhancement in their quality of life. Additionally, recent statistics reveal compelling results:

  • 93% found our support helpful or very helpful
  • 92.7% believed that our support would make a difference in their lives
  • 77% showed improvement across three or more subsets in pre/post-assessment scores
  • 91% demonstrated statistically significant enhancement in the emotional section of impact assessments
  • 97% made progress towards SMART goals.

Whether it’s schools, local authorities, professionals, parents and guardians, or children aged 16+, anyone can refer a child to Bright Paths for Y.E.S mentoring. We believe in an inclusive approach to accessing support. That said, our outreach services are delivered in the school environment and will require the child’s school and guardian to support and fund their referral.

Bright Paths offers diverse services tailored to meet the unique needs of children and young people. From one-to-one mentoring to group workshops, we address issues from anxiety, coping skills, and self-esteem to mentoring for challenging behaviour and emotional regulation. Many of our services can be amended to meet the requirements of individuals and schools, so get in touch for more information.

YES Mentoring

Participation in the Y.E.S. Mentoring program can lead to improved emotional well-being, increased self-esteem, enhanced coping skills, and better overall resilience. Mentees may also experience improvements in academic performance, social relationships, and overall quality of life. At the very least, the mentee will develop the emotional literacy to talk about their challenges with a safe and trusted mentor who gives them the time and space to be heard and express themselves.

Currently, Y.E.S. Mentoring is funded through grants and donations, allowing us to offer the program to families at no cost. However, as funding is competitive, we do ask parents/guardians to contribute financially if they are able to do so through our donations page. Even a very low amount can make a difference; every little helps. This ensures continued accessibility for all in need.

Each weekly session lasts between 40-50 minutes. The duration of the Y.E.S. Mentoring program varies depending on the needs and progress of the mentee. Typically, the program lasts between 6 and 12 sessions with a review at the 6-week and 9-week periods.

A Y.E.S Mentor provides a safe and supportive space for mentees to explore their thoughts, feelings, and challenges. They offer practical strategies, emotional support, and encouragement to help mentees develop coping skills, build resilience, and achieve their goals.

Sessions can be amended and postponed using the login created when the initial session was booked, details of which are provided in the booking instructions. We understand that from time to time, there will be events that occur preventing this from happening, but just let us know as soon as you can through the app or by emailing support@brightpaths.org.uk. In the event of two consecutive missed sessions or where no contact has been made for two missed sessions, support will be withdrawn to ensure that children who need support can access it.

Upon receiving a completed referral form, a booking email is sent to the provided email address on the referral form. The child can then, independently or with support, book their initial appointment at a convenient time. Subsequently, a dedicated mentor is matched with the mentee to provide ongoing support and guidance through regular one-to-one sessions. During the initial session, the mentor and mentee spend time getting to know each other and conducting an initial assessment to understand the needs and goals of the mentee.

Y.E.S. Mentoring is available for children aged 11 and above from Bedfordshire. We have set this age range due to the online nature of support and the potential challenges younger children may face in engaging with the program without physical resources.

Y.E.S. Mentoring, short for “Youth Empowerment & Support”, is our specialised online service designed to provide personalised one-to-one support and guidance to children and young people aged 11+. Unlike other services, Y.E.S. offers light touch support focusing on the specific needs and goals of each individual. Participants in the Y.E.S. Mentoring program meet with their mentor weekly to work towards SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) and have a safe place to talk, be heard, and explore current difficulties.

Potentially yes, BrightPaths interventions, both in person and virtually, have been shown to help improve children and young people’s mental health and emotional wellbeing.

Our evidence includes significantly significant changes in before and after SDQ data, goals and targets being reached and the fantastic feedback we receive from our service users.

Did you know...

Nearly half of 17-19-year-olds with a diagnosable mental health disorder have self-harmed or attempted suicide at some point

Less than 1 in 3 children and young people with a diagnosable mental health condition get access to NHS care and treatment.

Get in touch

Whether you still have questions you would like answered or are ready to reach out for support, please don’t hesitate to contact us for a no-obligation consultation to see how we can best help.

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