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IMAGINE anniversary: tackling teenage depression

Supporting mental health

The UK is in the midst of a mental health crisis, and the prevalence of child and adolescent depression is growing at an alarming rate. Statistics show that one in ten young people have a diagnosable mental health condition. 

The government is talking more and more about improving provision for this crisis and universities are places where research can ensure increased provision is targeted at the right people.

Half of all adults with depression suffer their first episode as a teenager, and as with any condition, earlier intervention means more effective treatment, improving outcomes into the future.

So far, over £260,000 has been raised in philanthropic funding to support mental health research at the University of Reading. Thanks to the support of our donors, the Charlie Waller Institute has been able to significantly invest in its staffing, meaning that not only are new interventions developed, they are available to teenagers suffering from anxiety and depression more quickly.

This funding has enabled the Charlie Waller Institute to work with six local schools in the last two years, and over 1,000 teenagers have been made more aware of mental health issues and screened for possible risk indicators. As a result, over 60 young people have received Brief Behavioural Activation; a pioneering new treatment designed specifically for teenagers by the University of Reading.

Professor Shirley Reynolds, Director of the Charlie Waller Institute explained that: 

“Things are slowly changing. Now mental health problems are beginning to be discussed in schools and at work. We need to take advantage of this change.  We want to deliver treatment as soon as possible, bypassing clinical waiting lists and getting straight into schools. The Charlie Waller Institute, thanks to its focus on young people’s mental health, is best placed to lead with this. We need your support to make this happen.” 

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