A programme has been launched to combat mental health issues among care leavers and help them find work. The SideBySide programme is run by the National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS) in response to mental health challenges and loneliness faced by care leavers. Many are “thrust into the adult world before they are ready, facing a life without support of family and friends that so many take for granted”, NYAS says. Those with experience of care are between four and five times more likely to attempt suicide in adulthood, according to the charity. It also cites figures showing that half of those in care have, or develop a mental illness. Care leavers are also 25 times more likely to be homeless than those without experience of being in care, the NYAS says.


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