WILTSHIRE Mind is hoping to bridge the gap on mental health for young people.

It is trialling counselling for 11-year-olds, after being approached by children for help.

Wiltshire Mind had been counselling children aged 13 but felt it could tackle mental health issues even earlier.

Chief executive Carolyn Beale told the Adver: “We have had a few 11 to 12 year olds approach us so we have taken the decision to trial younger people.

“We have counsellors working in the trial and if we work with people before they’re 14 then they are more likely to not have long-term problems and we can tackle it early.”

Carolyn said that the young people were struggling with anxiety, depression, bullying, eating disorders and self-esteem issues.

"They can call Mind for an assessment which they’ll get within a week and then they can see a counsellor.

“It’s good because they don’t have to see a lot of different people and it's bookable," she said.

“We decided to start reaching the younger age group of a six-month trial to see how it goes.

“Although we are based in Melksham we won’t turn away anyone who is looking for help.”

It will cost those having counselling £15 per session.

Mind will use money from fundraising events and donations to support the service.

It will use different types of counselling to help young people, including cognitive behavioural therapy, mindfulness, psychotherapy and family therapy. These can be done face-to-face or over the phone.

Sessions will be available twice each week on Mondays and Wednesdays and are carried out by trained professionals.

The trial is available for people living in Swindon, Royal Wootton Bassett and Cricklade.

Anyone who is seeking help for mental health and want to see a counsellor can contact Wiltshire Mind at wiltshiremind.co.uk to be referred for an assessment.