#BrakeTheSystem - Rankin and Beyond focus on youth mental health

Lucy Donoughue
By Lucy Donoughue,
updated on Jun 1, 2021

#BrakeTheSystem - Rankin and Beyond focus on youth mental health

Beyond, led by founder and mental health advocate Jonny Benjamin MBE, collaborates with iconic photographer Rankin to raise funds for immediate mental health support in schools

Beyond, a youth-led charity founded by Jonny Benjamin MBE, is committed to tackling the mental health crisis amongst young people and today launches its #BrakeTheSystem campaign to raise £500,000 for immediate mental health support in school settings.

Beyond shares that current offerings for young people needs addressing urgently. “The UK is on the precipice of a major mental health disaster. CAMHS is stretched. Schools are overwhelmed. Teachers, key workers and the medical community are under-resourced,” they note. “The system isn’t working. Mental health support services for children and young people are struggling to meet the weight of demand due to the lack of funding and sustainable government strategy.”

The statistics support the need for a greater focus on young people’s mental health provision. 30% of those with existing mental health conditions lost their access to support services at the beginning of the pandemic and, in research carried out by Young Minds, a massive 80% admitted that the pandemic has had a detrimental impact on their mental health.


#BrakeTheSystem Campaign

The aim of the new #BrakeTheSystem campaign, led by Beyond and supported by world-renowned photographer Rankin, is to put the faces of those young people who are living and struggling with mental ill health front and centre of the discussion, to highlight the human nature and fall-out of the lack of mental health provision beyond the statistics we read.

It is hoped that this will inspire the public to be part of the solution by donating to the Beyond fundraising campaign through Crowdfunder or by texting BEYOND 5 to 70085, to donate £5.

Each and every portrait within the #BrakeTheSystem campaign features one of the 24 members of Beyond’s youth board, who have all expressed their urgent concerns about the state of mental health provision and funding. Shooting the campaign, Rankin shares, was something he was driven to do after hearing their stories and about the wider mental healthcare picture.


Ava Lilly

Over the coming days, high profile mental health advocates will also share the portraits across their social media to raise awareness of the issues surrounding young people’s mental health provision, in the hope that these messages will inspire their followers to support the Beyond campaign in any way they possibly can.

The money raised by Beyond will provide educational settings who are desperate for mental health support, with the funds to bring in the right services for their young people.

We need to act now

Beyond Founder Jonny Benjamin is keen that the real impact of the lack of support is understood and acted upon, in addition to the raising of funds.

“It is hard enough suffering with a mental illness, without having to struggle even further to get support,” he explains. “The fact that 75% of young people in the U.K. who have a mental health issue can’t access the treatment they require is scandalous. We need to tackle this urgently, particularly in the wake of the pandemic which has seen children’s mental health services receive their highest number of referrals on record. We need to act now, not later, if we really want to make a difference to the wellbeing of the next generation.”

The support Beyond is hoping to raise funds for, he says, extends to those who are working on the frontline with young people every day - teachers.

“Teachers are dealing with increased incidents of self-harm, anxiety and loneliness of their students, not to mention processing the trauma of the last year on their own mental wellbeing. CAMHS referrals are the highest on record and waiting times are well over 18 months in places. Now is the time to put in place some immediate support so that we can start to rebuild the foundations upon which any form of catchup requires. Let’s put the brakes on the mounting pressure, enable our young people and teachers to feel supported and less alone.”

Any support you are able to give to the Beyond campaign is truly invaluable.

  • £10 could fund a "wellbeing workbook" for students.
  • £100 could fund a counsellor in a school for one day a week.
  • £500 could fund a full-time counsellor in a school for an entire week.
  • £1000 could fund five teachers wellbeing sessions.
  • £2000 could find mindfulness/yoga sessions for the whole school for an entire term.
  • £4000 could fund a trauma and anxiety specialist for 10 sessions in a school.

Donate to the Beyond fundraising campaign through Crowdfunder or by texting BEYOND 5 to 70085, to donate £5.

To find the right therapist for your needs, visit Counselling Directory

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