Extremists prey on vulnerable people in every community

Protecting young people from being radicalised by extremists is a top priority at Kikit. We recognise the reason some individuals might find terrorist propaganda appealing is because they are facing other problems in their life. One of those problems could be around mental health.

Anybody can experience a period of mental illness. The stress and strain of everyday life can wear down even the strongest of people. We meet youngsters who have experienced way too many knockbacks and this can trigger a downward spiral of self-hatred and isolation from the community. If there are underlying mental health issues, a teenager might just want to retreat to their bedroom and spend most of their time online.

They might fall in with the wrong people or start taking drugs or abusing alcohol. A terrorist radicaliser can recognise a young person at a low ebb – an ideal target for their poisonous ideology. These extremists feed on feelings of suspicion and anger that have been building up. Instead of trying to cure these kids, they prey on their weakness.

It’s our job at Kikit to tackle the problem in its entirety. We work with young people to get them off the drugs and alcohol and then tackle the dangerous ideas they have been fed online or on the streets. If they have mental health issues, we can help get the professional support they need to build up their confidence and self-esteem.

If you know somebody who may have mental health problems and needs our help – come along to the Kikit offices and chat about it over a cup of tea. You could end up saving a life.

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