A leading mental health charity’s aim to meet growing demand for youth counselling services in the north-east has been supported by a £50,000 donation by Apache North Sea.

The funds from the energy firm will be used by Mental Health Aberdeen (MHA) to support its ACIS Youth service. The latest contribution takes the total pledged by Apache to the organisation this year to £100,000.

ACIS Youth is part of MHA’s wide range of services for young people and adults in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. ACIS caters for those aged 18 and under, with counselling provided free of charge and accessed directly by young people through MHA’s offices or by requests facilitated by parents, social workers, teachers, GPs, youth services and other agencies – providing the young person has given consent.

MHA chief executive Astrid Whyte said: “We value the support of our corporate donors immensely, particularly during what are challenging times for the oil and gas sector. On behalf of everyone connected with MHA I must thank Apache for the company’s continued generosity and for providing funding which will make a real difference to our ability to deliver what is a vital service.

“This latest tranche of money will be used to deliver counselling through ACIS Youth, a service within MHA which we are very keen to expand in line with the demand we see every day. In particular it will allow us to continue our work in schools, which is an important strand of what we do.

“Each young person reaching out for our help deserves to be supported. We are committed to doing all that we can to build on the good work that has been done so far by our team of skilled and dedicated counsellors, but that would be simply impossible without the help of Apache and our other loyal corporate partners.”

In the first 10-months of this year alone, ACIS Youth counsellors provided in excess of 1,400 appointments for 178 young people and responded to more than 1,200 requests for information.

Patricia Paterson, executive assistant at Apache North Sea, said: “We first decided to support MHA after learning of the valuable work being done by the charity across the north-east and since then we have developed a very strong relationship, one we are delighted to continue with this latest donation. We know the funding will be put to excellent use and are very pleased to be able to support the ACIS Youth service in the community.”

MHA was founded in 1950 and provides support services, counselling and advice to people affected by challenges related to mental health and wellbeing. Services are available for children from the age of 12 and adults.

The organisation was among the first to provide community care with its first residential project, a group home for discharged psychiatric patients, opened more than 35 years ago. MHA has also been providing day services continuously for over 60 years. Further information is available online at www.mha.uk.net.

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