Senior Street Sextet band pictured together holding instruments in St Mary's Church, Twickenham

Fundraising jazz concert held for World Mental Health day

A jazz concert raised over £1,850 for youth mental health services with Richmond Borough Mind last week.

Senior Street Sextet fundraised in St Mary’s Church in Twickenham for Richmond Borough Mind on October 8.

Mind aim to raise £200,000 to launch an out-of-hours crisis service for those aged 13 to 19, with the hopes of providing support to young people.

Chief executive of Richmond Borough Mind, Val Farmer, said: “We want to make sure that young people can find a place that is accessible for their mental health needs.

“There isn’t a crisis service like this in the borough and hospitals are not the place for young people with mental health conditions.”

The Richmond borough has the highest rate of hospital admission for mental health in the whole of London and has the 4th worst youth wellbeing scores in London.

Richmond Borough Mind has provided support for over 60 years and reaches 8000 people a year with mental health services.

The band, who have been together for 10 years, hold a charity concert annually and have fundraised for Mind once before.

Tenor saxophonist Rachel Arthur said: “I was surprised by the figures as you would assume people aren’t struggling here but they are.

“I think it’s sobering that mental health issues are so prevalent here.”

Richmond Borough Mind aims to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and make sure people are not afraid to ask for help.

Addressing Richmond’s extensive mental health problem, Farmer said: “Young people feel the pressure because of high expectations that if they don’t succeed, they are a failure.

“It’s also difficult for some schools to admit there’s a mental health problem and some public schools are reluctant to declare the level of mental health issues because of the stigma around it.”

Many residents were shocked to hear the mental health figures and noted the need for improvement in mental health services and youth facilities in the area.

Pensioner Barry Armstrong, 89, said: “There is a great absence of youth clubs compared to when we were young and they are invaluable.”

“I think the main issue is that there is a great gap in the community and in London with caring for young people because if young people can be involved in sports or any other activity, it can help stimulate the mind and improve mental health.

“We would really applaud anything that was to happen in this borough for young people.”

Richmond has the 2nd highest rate of emergency admissions for self harm in London and 1 in 3 of 16 to 19 year olds have a mental health diagnosis.

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Jazz band Senior Street Sextet from L-R (Peter Garner, Mike Morey, Rachel Arthur, Dave Davies, Chris Conway-Hughes, Jules Hewett)

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