Why is there a need for AT The Bus?

Many children and young people struggle with treatable mental health challenges or are disempowered by circumstance and there are limited resources to support them.

AT The Bus partners with schools so that students can easily access the service directly on their school site. There is little impact on staff time and travel costs as the students are able to walk to the bus within school grounds.

How do students get referred to AT The Bus?

Working closely with host schools, AT The Bus is a therapeutic arts provision for young people who would benefit from spending time in a creative, supportive therapeutic environment away from mainstream classrooms, yet on school sites.

Young people are referred to AT The Bus for a wide range of different reasons; including low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, bereavement, trauma and loss. Some may be young/prime carers. Some may be bullied or bullies. Some may have recently arrived to this country. Some may be withdrawn, some may be disengaged from education. There are many reasons why young people are referred to this provision.

Carefully planned, timetabled weekly sessions within school hours delivered consistently over a number of weeks for each group. Sessions last around 1.5 hours.

Students can be referred by their teachers or carers and other professionals. They can also self-refer to attend a programme of AT The Bus sessions. All referrals are made via the host school.

Statistics support the need for the service

The majority of all lifelong major mental illness starts during adolescence

In the UK 60% of those who need it do not have access to support during childhood

The most ‘at risk’ populations are over-represented in that 60%

Young people are increasingly at risk of anxiety and low self-esteem

Self-harm during adolescence is becoming increasingly common

Rates of depression and anxiety have increased among teenagers by 70% in the last 25 years

93% of teachers report increased rates of mental health issues amongst children and teenagers

Mina Fazel, Associate Professor, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Oxford quote

"AT The Bus is trying to find new and innovative ways to reach children and adolescents who need more emotional support at school. Using art has been a way that many young people find helpful, as it can help them express their feelings, give them a new perspective on issues they are dealing with, or give them a positive experience of self-expression."

Mina Fazel, Associate Professor, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Oxford

The Team

Our team of professionals includes therapeutic facilitators with counselling skills, teachers, artists and educators. Everyone is committed to delivering the practice of art as therapy to support the mental wellbeing of children and young people.

AT The Bus is fully committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.

Ways to Support Us

  • Donate

    It costs £180,000 a year to run AT The Bus, supporting over 100 young people each month through times of anxiety and crisis. Your contribution will keep the bus operating.

    More info
  • Fundraise for AT The Bus

    You might already have an idea about how to raise much needed funds for us. Coffee mornings, sponsored runs or swims, cake sales, concerts – there are so many ways. We’d love to hear what you have planned.

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  • Volunteer

    If you’re interested in volunteering with us, please get in touch. We’d be delighted to hear from you. There are all sorts of ways you can be involved.

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  • Become a Friend of AT The Bus

    Coming soon.

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Partners