As we go into 2019 we wanted to provide some information on how important each and every fundraiser is to the work of Youth Suicide Prevention
We have never had such high demand on our services shown particularly by a 212% in enquiries over the Christmas period 2018. The support of our fundraisers is vital to our ability to increase school visits, offer more services and keep on saving lives through education.
Due to logistical limitations and lack of resources to train additional provincial facilitators, some of the more remote areas of the country cannot be serviced by our facilitators as easily or cost-effectively as more urban areas.
We have been working over the last 12 months to overcome this problem by developing a Schools Resource Pack containing all the materials for the Four Steps to Help Course including a video presentation of the class portion of the programme and Student Books for each student attending.
Each pack will provide resources for all the TY, 5th and 6th year students in the school which averages around 250-300 students per school. Funding 5 school resource packs would allow us to directly contact an additional 625 to 750 students before the end of 2018.
Based on our internal audited figures from 2017 and 2018 the cost of providing a school visit to the charity is around €500 which includes facilitator salaries, printing, teacher packs and travel.
Each additional school visit we can achieve allows our facilitators to work directly, face to face, with anything from a single year group to three year groups of students. Our average rate for students attending our in-class seminars is around 250 per school over a school year. Funding for an additional school visit would allow us to work directly with around 250 more students than last year. This might seem a very small number in comparison to Option A but the difference is direct contact with the students facilitated by our trained staff.
Most schools that are part of the Four Steps to Help Programme take advantage of our staff support framework which provides information and guidance on student mental health to teachers, parents and management. The most requested service that schools look for is getting fast access to appropriate counselling for students they consider to be at-risk.
For the last six years the charity has provided a counselling support fund which allows priority cases to be referred to local counsellors in the school area, at a negotiated reduced rate of around €20 per session. Each additional €500 targeted at this option would support an additional 20 hours of priority counselling.
YSPI provides a FreeText Crisis Information Service which is free of charge to users. Texting HELP to 50015 provides immediate 24/7 crisis information. Our Crisis Information Service also includes running our ineedhelp.ie website which provides a single point for help, support and information for those in need of immediate assistance or longer term support.
Training opportunities for teaching staff, coaching staff and youth organisers is vital part of any mental health awareness programme but particularly for suicide prevention.
With €500 of additional funding we can provide one more training courses, which will train an additional 40 staff in mental health awareness, suicide prevention and intervention skills.
The charity receives around 50 applications per year where people want to volunteer as facilitators. As you can imagine it takes a certain type of person to be able to go into schools and talk with students about such a difficult and emotive subject, and we as an organisation have to ensure that each facilitator presents the programme in exactly the correct way to comply with our insurance underwriting. Because of this, and our internal child protection requirements, we break the facilitator process into 5 stages:
It costs us around €250 to get a potential volunteer facilitator through the first 3 stages to identify a good candidate for stages 4 & 5 which are mission critical. It costs a further €500 to prepare a candidate to operate in a child safe environment. So an additional €500 would allow us to put an additional facilitator candidate through to their supervision training.
At the end of our 2018 financial year our provisional administration overhead was working out around 12% which means that for every €1.00 you raise for us we only spend 12c on running the charity. 88c out of every €1 is spent on funding our youth self-harm and suicide prevention programmes with 69% being spent on the Schools Programme.
Our schools programme figures are calculated from the Department of Education’s published figures for 2016 as set out below:Total Students 379,179 (From Department of Education 2016)