News - Young people and mental health

This section is no longer maintained as of December 2023. MHNE has closed.


“Kesia’s Law” - Greater protection to be given to 17-year-olds in custody

An amendment made to the Criminal Justice & Courts Bill has closed an historic legal anomaly, which meant that 17-year-olds were not given the same rights as other children in police custody. The amendment means that 17-year-olds in police custody will have the same rights as all other under-18s following a last-minute legislation change. As a result 17-year-olds will be transferred to local authority accommodation, rather than being detained at police stations overnight. Also a parent or guardian responsible for the welfare of the 17-year-old will now informed that they have been detained.

Campaigners said this anomaly was to blame for three deaths in the past three years 17-year-old including, Kesia Leatherbarrow, who was found dead in December 2013, shortly after being released from police custody, where she had been held for three days and two nights. - See more on this story at CYP Now.

Reach Out North East welcomes this news but still have grave concerns for the well being of vulnerable young people (18 years and above) held in custody. Navpreet Kang, Young People’s Lead said “Many  young people are terrified at the even the idea of spending time locked up in a police cell’ – see ‘In Custody’ report compiled by MHNE in 2013.

Mental health of children and young people ‘at risk in digital age’

This article posted on the Guardian website by Denis Campbell highlights the growing concerns being raised by MPs about the potential risk of harm to the mental health children and young people of using the web. MHNE would support the call by the commons health select committee for "the Department of Health and NHS England's joint taskforce, now investigating, alongside bodies such as the UK Council for Child Internet Safety, the mental health of under-18s, to assess the impact of social media". Click HERE to read the full article

Reach Out North East - MHNE Young People's e-zine Issue 3 out now!

Inside you will find the real-life stories of young people writing about mental health, interviews, tips on having good mental health and support.

Download Issue 3 of the Reach Out North here!

This edition includes articles about going back to school and about life after school!  A tribute to Robin Williams, pets and mental well-being, living with autism and much more.

To include an article in the next edition or to find out more contact Navpreet at MHNE: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 0191 4111962.

Reach Out North East newsletter is part of MHNE’s Young People and Mental Health Project, thanks to funding by The Wellesley Trust Community First Fund and to the Cooperative Community Fund.

Coram Children's Legal Centre

Coram Children's Legal Centre provides free legal information, advice and representation to children, young people, their families, carers and professionals, as well as international consultancy on child law and children’s rights.

They offer expertise in all areas of family, child and education law, as well as immigration, asylum and nationality law, including:
•    Domestic violence
•    Child protection
•    School admissions.

Part of the Coram group of charities, CCLC is staffed by lawyers and professionals with expertise in child, family, education, immigration and human rights law.

Click here for fact sheets on a range of issues and details about free legal advice on English law and policy affecting children and families.

08088 020 008 Mon-Fri 8am-8pm

MindFull mentors (11-17 yrs) - providing online support (UK-wide)

Being a MindFull Mentor is a fantastic way to make a difference to people who need someone their own age to talk to, or share your skills as someone who's been around for a bit! It is also a great way to learn more about mental health and emotional wellbeing - both your own and in general - and to develop skills for life.


At the moment, you can only become a MindFull Mentor if you live in the UK and are older than 11.

MindFull Mentor (11-17 yrs)
You can get accredited training and graduate as a MindFull Mentor; helping other young people to tackle any problems they have with emotional wellbeing or mental health. As you're under 18, we will need to speak to your parent (or guardian) to get consent for you to attend.

Working it Out training programme for 16-24 year olds

Working It Out is a life-changing, ten-week programme for unemployed 16- to 24-year-olds. Working It Out will give you confidence and motivation and get you ready for work or training.

You will learn to work as a team, take responsibility and gain new skills. We will also help you write your CV, practise interview skills and complete applications for jobs or college. You will work on a community challenge as part of a team. Working on a challenge is a chance to find out what you are good at and show an employer what you can do.

Working It Out has been running in Newcastle for over four years and has supported over 90 young people on their journey into work, training or back into education. Since 2008, 52% of participants have got a job or training place and 19% have taken up further education courses.

If you live in Newcastle, you can join the Working It Out programme by contacting the local Tomorrow's People team.

Call 0191 261 6242 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Expenses and travel costs paid

Mental health cuts 'affecting children' - Young Minds

Young Minds, the young people's mental health charity have launched a campaign to draw attention to the cuts to children's mental health services in England, using freedom of information requests. The responses revealed that a majority of local authority areas have seen a cut or freeze in their Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) budgets, creating a crisis of funding which will affect many young people.

More info - [Young Minds full story] [BBC report]

The petition linked to the campaign, "Stop the cuts to children and young people’s mental health services" already has around 10,000 signatures - to read more and sign the petition, click here.

No wonder young men have a problem with self-esteem

Overstimulated by technology, warped by porn, lacking male role models, bombarded by perfect body images, it's no surprise that teenage boys struggle as much as girls when it comes to self-image

"At some point today, boys as young as 12 all over Britain will be pumping iron in gyms. They'll be doing it partly because their peers have convinced them that it's expected. Partly they'll be doing it because the gym is one of the few environments a young man in Britain can find unconditional acceptance and a sense of belonging. And they'll be doing it partly because state schools now run an average of just one hour-long PE lesson per week under Gove's academia-centric regime, so how else are they supposed to stay fit?"

Story by Natasha Devon in the Telegraph 02 Jun 2014 click HERE for full story

Introducing Ladders

YPFocusLadders is a programme which helps young people aged 16-24, who have an interest in the creative industries, to develop their skills and improve their chances of finding a job. It's run by music development agency Generator - the organisation behind the annual Evolution Emerging event.

For more details download the flyer.

If you're interested, then please contact Neil Burke on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

or call 0191 440 4410.