TEENAGERS from East Lothian will benefit from an increase in mental health support and counselling services after a charity catering for young people aged between 12 and 18 was given a funding boost.

MYPAS, a charity catering to the mental health and wellbeing of youngsters in East Lothian and Midlothian, has been awarded £116,400 from Henry Smith Charity to hire a part-time counsellor for the county for three years.

The post will work with 30 young people each year – with arrangements to make sure care-experienced young people can access support quickly, the capability to work with complex cases and providing specific routes for LGBTQ+ young people.

Henry Smith Charity released extra funding and invited grant holders to apply to support work beyond the initial emergency response phase of the Covid-19 pandemic, focusing on increased volume of need, increased complex needs of young people and increased need from those severely and disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

Dave Evans, chief executive of MYPAS, said: “We are excited to be awarded this funding from the Henry Smith Charity.

“We are an existing grant holder with the Henry Smith Charity, providing counselling services in Midlothian, and this additional award will help us increase our counselling service provision in East Lothian.

“We have seen more demand for mental health support, specifically counselling, over recent months.

“This much-needed three-year award will help us to positively affect more young people’s mental health than ever before.”

MYPAS’s counselling services are carried out by fully qualified and experienced therapists, engaging young people either face to face or digitally, and at locations of their choosing.

James Kelly, East Lothian therapies service manager, said: “This will enable MYPAS to increase our capacity in East Lothian.

“This is a very much appreciated acknowledgement from Henry Smith that we have a need for additional capacity.”