HeadStart Kent is part of Kent County Council’s Early Help and Preventative Services and aims to help young people cope better when faced with difficult circumstances in their lives, preventing them from experiencing common mental health problems. The programme is funded by The Big Lottery Fund to provide the resources to develop approaches that support young people to develop their own resilience to cope with the everyday pressures they may face throughout their lives. HeadStart Kent aims to make changes through schools, families and within communities and has been designed with young people at its heart.

HeadStart Kent’s mission statement is: “by 2020 Kent young people and their families will have improved resilience, by developing their knowledge and lifelong skills to maximise their own and their peers’ emotional health and wellbeing; so navigate their way to support when needed in ways which work for them.” Young people have been clear on what they need to support their mental wellbeing, and HeadStart aims to focus on building a sustainable system where every young person in Kent will be able to say with confidence:

  • People around me understand wellbeing and how to promote it
  • My overall wellbeing is not impacted by the pressure to achieve and to be perfect
  • There is always someone for me to talk to.