Local Mental Health Hub bringing light into the darkness

Regenerate: Mental Health Hub was “born out of necessity” to offer support for young people struggling with mental health as “the hardest time to grow up is now”, says one of their counsellors.

Jim’s Youth Centre, Kilkeel is home to Regenerate and it was through the young people attending that they realised an urgent need for mental health provision in the area. They raised the imperative question, “As a young person where do you actually go for support?”

Young people are growing up in a social media influenced generation and Caroline, a counsellor at Regenerate believes, “Social media is the biggest trigger as our phones are attached to us all the time.” There is no escape from online trolling/ bullying and this “eats away at confidence and self-esteem, added to this is school pressure as now more than ever there is more emphasis on achievement.”

Regenerate’s doors opened in September 2020 in the pandemonium of the pandemic. Caroline said despite this, “referrals started to come in very quickly.” Covid became a massive trigger as it left people very isolated. Young people were taken out of social situations and weren’t using social skills and as the world returns to the “new normal” their anxiety has increased as they haven’t developed these skills. This cemented the overwhelming need for this provision.

Young people from the age of 5-21 can avail of their 1 to 1 counselling face-to-face or via zoom/telephone. They also “run workshops on stress, anxiety, depression and drugs and alcohol. Their detached youth worker also runs workshops in schools and other organisations to deliver OCN courses to raise awareness of mental health.”

Regenerate’s aim is to “make young people’s world a wee bit better and put a little bit of light into the darkness” which they are most definitely achieving.