illie Piper has backed the Evening Standard’s campaign to highlight the mental health problems of young people and adolescents, saying it was very close to her heart in the wake of “this pandemic that has affected everyone in so many different and devastating ways”.
The award-winning actress, who starred in Doctor Who, Secret Diary Of A Call Girl, I Hate Suzie and many West End hits, including Yerma, said she had been “profoundly moved” by reports in the Standard that mental health problems among children and young adults have risen wildly since national lockdowns were put in place.
Piper, who has been frank about her own mental health difficulties, said: “While we sadly cannot turn the clock back for some people, we can look forward and help those whose lives are being seriously impacted. Out of the 1.5 million children requiring mental health care, over a third are new cases and a direct repercussion of the Covid crisis.”
One of the solutions put forward that would “make a huge difference to these young lives”, said Piper, is the Standard’s Young London SOS campaign, launched last month.
It followed our investigation which revealed that an additional 500,000 children will need mental health support this year, on top of the one in six children already identified by the NHS as experiencing a serious mental disorder.
Piper called it “a crucial initiative that aims to help vulnerable children and young adults”.
Working with Place2Be, our campaign seeks to raise funds to place more counsellors in more schools, provide one-to-one sessions and help support staff and parents. It costs £33,000 to deliver the full Place2Be service to one school for a year. So far £135,000 has been donated.
The mother of three called for people and corporate giants to give generously.
She said: “I know there are children already benefiting from Place2Be’s support, the impact is incredible and it makes a huge difference to young lives. But we need to reach many more children suffering from mental health issues and donating to the Standard campaign will go a long way.
“This is such an important campaign, one very close to my heart and I hope we can make it a huge success by placing support into the lives of as many vulnerable children as possible.”