Mancroft Advice Project: Mental Health Advice

9 Apr 2024

Mancroft Advice Project's (MAP) Head of Advice Services, Yolly Southgate, shares an overview of their Mental Health Advice drop-in service that provides practical support and strategies to help young people manage their mental health.

MAP’s Mental Health Advice drop-in service was developed in response to the demand for emotional and crisis support we were seeing at our drop-in sites. We noticed that young people were often benefitting from unstructured support and advice on mental health issues. Practical support and strategies helping young people manage their mental health sometimes meant that young people did not need therapeutic intervention.

The Mental Health Advice drop-in service is available at all three of our YIAC hubs where young people drop in on a first come first served basis to see a Mental Health Adviser. Mental Health Advice appointments can also be prearranged where required. We support young people to learn skills in understanding and managing their mental health experience. The vital ingredient in the support we offer is; ensuring young people accessing support at MAP are listened to and feel heard, and supporting young people to understand the options available to them, including from services outside MAP.

I like that it’s drop in so I can come in whenever I like to and whenever I need to. I love that I’ve been able to get to know and trust the person I see and that if she can’t help me, she can always find someone who can.

Young person receiving Mental Health Advice at MAP

Sessions may be up to an hour, but can sometimes be brief check-ins. These sessions can include working with young people in crisis who are in need of safeguarding. Our sessions can go in many directions, which can include triage for counselling, or support in referring to appropriate agencies and statutory services. Sometimes we don’t refer on at all, and instead, support young people with skills and techniques for managing mental health day-to-day. Where external factors are affecting a young person’s mental health, we can officer practical advice or advocacy work.

MAP’s Mental Health Advisers work positively and proactively to ensure that young people are supported to recognise and achieve goals for their mental health. We can help young people get used to speaking to a professional outside of their friends or family, creating a safe space in which to open up and explore what may be going on for them. This can be a starting point for accessing more in-depth therapeutic support. Mental Health Advice is always led by the young person, at their own pace. Ultimately, we provide a safe, non-judgemental, low-pressure service for young people who need more support than they currently have in place.

Learn more about the inspirational work taking place at MAP at