Joel Sutton talks about the Youth Mental Health Foundation

Our Recovery Development Fund winner and Co-Founder for Youth Mental Health Foundation, Joel Sutton, took some time out to talk to our community about their work.

Joel says, “The Youth Mental Health Foundation is a non-profit organisation based in Devon that supports young people’s mental health. We also support the parents of young people who self-harm to play a key role in their child’s healing.”

“We all know there are HUGE pressures on young people’s mental health and this has been increased by the Covid-19 pandemic. Jade Sutton (16 years old) has presented her assembly – ‘Believe In Yourself & Follow Your Dreams’ at over 70 schools in Devon. The assemblies help her young audience to de-stigmatise mental health and encourage everyone (including the teachers) to believe in themselves and their dreams, whatever they may be.”

Jade Sutton delivering her assembly to a school in South Devon

“We have also created a free-to-access online course, that guides parents to play a key role supporting the recovery of a young person who self-harms. It recognises the role an informed parent can play supporting the mental health of a young person, the limited support available to families from the NHS/CAMHs and guides parents to fill this gap. The first module is free to access through our website and is recommended by several NHS Recovery Colleges (including Devon Partnership NHS Trust). The online course has supported over 140 families and the digital format allows us to deliver our support at extremely low cost.”

“With the incredible strain of the Covid-19 Pandemic on young people’s mental health, the demand for our online course and school assemblies is extremely high. We’re delighted that Recovery Devon has recognised our work and we’re really grateful to be awarded their Recovery Development Fund grant which we’re using to produce the next module of our online course for parents looking to support the healing of a young person who self-harms. We also find their mentoring and guidance really valuable, so look forward to their help and support as we grow.”

We wish the team all the best with their work! For further information about the Youth Mental Health Foundation, please visit and find out about their free online course: Learn how YOU can support your self-harming child’s healing. You can also access their free booklet on How To Help A Self-Harming Young Person here.