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Schools and services meet to find a solution to 'West Cumbria Mental Health Crisis'

'We Will' campaigners will be attending the Mental Health event in Whitehaven Credit: ITV Border

A conference is taking place in Whitehaven to highlight mental health issues affecting young people in West Cumbria.

The West Cumbria Mental Health Network event will attract services who aim to address the West Cumbria Youth Mental Health Crisis, which campaigners say isone of the most difficult to solve in the UK.

The criteria for youths to see a mental health specialist in the area has quadrupled in the last year, with some young people facing a waiting time of up to 18 months.

The key problem is that the people who are worried about this issue are widely spread over many organisations. To make progress we have to bring them together and that's what's happening today. We will map out what's going on, develop a voice for our issues, share ideas and create solutions.

– Rebecca Hanson: County Councillor for Cockermouth North. Chair of West Cumbria Youth Mental Health Network.

The event aims to get across the message that it is important for young people to have a say in the way that mental health is addressed, especially in schools.

Representatives from West Cumbria's secondary schools will attend the conference along with those who provide mental health services in hope to come together to create a joint curriculum for young people's mental health.

Young people are also coming up with their own campaigns and services. The meeting will be attended by members of the group 'We Will', from Maryport. They are a group of young people aged 14-18 who want to create a new generation of Youth Mental Health First Aid trained people.

The teenagers have come together to advocate for change in the way mental health is dealt with in their schools, communities and families.

A spokesperson for the NHS said that young people 'in crisis' are seen within 48 hours. However, those needing more routine referrals are having to wait much longer than they should be.

The event is being held at Whitehaven Golf Club between 9am and 4pm on Monday 24th June.