A charity in Northampton which provides a counselling service for more than 10,000 young people every year could close in June after its public funding was cut.
The Lowdown, based in Northampton town centre, has launched an urgent fund-raising campaign to try to make up a shortfall of £30,000 of NHS funding.
The youth counselling service, which opened in 1989, helps to support young people suffering from mental health problems including depression, suicidal thoughts and self harming.
Dawn Wright, executive director of the charity, said The Lowdown’s services had never been more in demand with a growing number of GP referrals.
She said: “Many of the hundreds of young people we support each year, come to us because there is nowhere else for them to go.
“They come to us because they feel safer than anywhere else and know that the waiting list or referral process for other agencies can be between six months and two years. If you are suicidal, this is too long to wait.
“The Lowdown is the only youth counselling service in Northampton which is open six days per week, offering an easy access (drop-in and referral) service where young people can get their first appointment within a week.”
The Lowdown needs to raise £120,000 per year to run its service which is staffed by four full-time, one part-time and 52 voluntary employees.
To donate money to the charity go to www.justgiving.com/ONEhourwillmakeadifference or text LOWD03 followed by a space then a donation amount to 70070.
The executive director of The Lowdown has said she is seriously concerned that thousands of young people in the Northampton area suffering from mental health problems would be left without any support if the charity closed.
Dawn Wright has said the number of teenagers in the town who needed counselling after self-harming or developing sucicdal thoughts was on the increase.
She said: “If we closed I really don’t know where these young people could get help.”