A Basingstoke-based charity has been given almost £6,000 to support young people suffering with mental health issues in the town.
Spotlight UK was handed £5,850 by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation (HIWCF) to fund a youth mentor to work with 15 young people each week.
The mentor will help them on issues including self-harm, anxiety, anger, depression and low self-esteem through activities and emotional and practical support.
Spotlight has a centre in Popley, where young people are referred via health visitors, GPs, schools, social workers and other agencies.
Michaela Riley, chief executive of Spotlight, said: “We are delighted that HIWCF is supporting our project which is aimed at the heart of Spotlight’s work in helping disadvantaged and vulnerable children in our area.
“In the last 25 years, anxiety and depression rates amongst young people have increased by 70 per cent, with young people often reluctant to seek help from mental health services for fear of being stigmatised.
“If left unsupported the impact of ill health and stigma can be devastating, but with the right help at the right time, the wellbeing of young people with mental health problems can be greatly improved.”
Ten organisations across Hampshire received grants totalling £55,058 from HIWCF in the latest round.