A CHARITY which aims to prevent young people from developing mental health problems has opened up its first base in Renfrewshire.

Youth Interventions now has its own hub in Linwood’s Mossedge Village, offering one-to-one treatment for youngsters who are struggling with emotional problems, as well as support for parents.

The charity is the brainchild of Linwood mum-of-three Louise Dempsey, who spotted a gap in service provision in the area for teenagers facing difficulties such as addiction and poor mental health.

Along with fellow practitioners, she has been running a variety of workshops in schools throughout Renfrewshire and providing one-to-one sessions in a bid to reach out to youngsters before emotional issues develop.

Now, after gaining £30,000 in funding from the BBC’s Children in Need appeal, Louise is delighted to see the charity gain a proper home.

But the 47-year-old, who works in a rehab centre in Glasgow, insists this is only the start of the charity’s journey.
“We want to open hubs throughout the whole of Renfrewshire,”

Louise told The Gazette. “As soon as we can, we will look to open another one.

“The hub is open one day a week at the moment but we are seeking further funding for this to be a full-time project.

“What we noticed is a lot of people were talking the talk and not walking the walk when it comes to mental health treatment and so we’ve tried to create a service using lived experience and professional skills.

“It’s hoped everyone will be able to come to the hub, rather than us going out to them.

“Wherever there are pockets of deprivation, there will be poor mental health. These kids need to be taught and educated about what is happening to them when they take drugs or alcohol. When they know and understand what’s happening, it does make a difference.”

The hub, which is based in Acorn House, is currently open on Tuesdays, with a second opening day in the week soon to be confirmed.

In September, a youth club will be opening up in the evenings where teenagers will be able to hang out and play games.

The mission to raise the funds required to open up further hubs has already begun, as trustee Colin Dyer ran the 96-mile West Highland Way last month, coining in more than £1,500.

And the charity is busy applying for further grants as it seeks to brighten young people’s futures.

Louise added: “We want to prevent the escalation of mental health problems and drug and alcohol abuse and we honestly believe that, by applying early intervention, we can do that.

"If we can get this work done when they are 14 or 15, we can prevent these problems from occurring.”