How The Mix gives a voice to young people

The Mix is a nationwide charity helping 13-25 year olds by providing outlets for their views and giving advice and support to those who are going through more difficult times. To learn more about how they help, I met with Durham student Charlotte Hall, who volunteers for the charity.

The support is provided over multiple levels. There are articles that cover everything from crime to relationships, forums for many topics, even tools like a CV builder and an app that gives advice on housing and contracts (which might be useful to other first years who will be moving into houses next year!). Charlotte moderates chats, and she explained why it’s important:

“It’s really important because, I think, young people a lot of the time think that their problems aren’t big enough. But, when they come to our support chats, you get them talking about everything from “I’ve had a rubbish day at school” to more serious mental health issues. It’s really hard to give people the space to talk about both of those things.”

With everything being done online and a lot of young people working and volunteering for The Mix, the service makes it far easier for teenagers and young adults to come forward with their problems. Charlotte emphasises this as a major obstacle in the way of people getting the support they need:

“Just get support from wherever you can find it. It’s the one thing that people find the hardest- taking that first step. But whether it’s a friend, the Mix, Nightline… Whoever you feel you can talk to. Once you take that first step, it all gets a lot easier.”

In a study from 2016, it was reported that over a quarter of university students suffered from mental health issues, and this year it was found that just under 12% of men aged 16-24 showed signs of drug dependency. These are just two of the many issues that people need help and advice for, especially because these years are a very transitional time, which can seem quite daunting. The Mix is there to provide help during this time, and is a non-judgmental safe space for young people to come to.

I asked Charlotte what she thought was the most rewarding thing about working for the charity:

“When people come into the chats and they’ve had a bad week, and then by the end of it you can tell they feel better. You know, they’re joking about or they’ll say “Thanks, that really helped.” and it’s nice to see that effect actually happening.”

There are lots of opportunities to get involved, current vacancies include boards moderator and telephone counsellor. You can also fundraise with various events like the London Marathon! Finally, you can donate directly through this page.

Additionally, The Mix have set up a youtube channel called ‘In The Mix’. Its aim is to provide an alternative to all the negative and misleading stories that you can often find on the news. You can read more about the channel here:

In The Mix – alternative news for under 25s

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