A YOUTH mental health advocate has released a book to help confidence in girls.

Ross McWilliam from Blackburn has been empowering young people for years, working with over 1,500 educational institutions to help improve mental health.

After seeing the results of a Youth Sports Trust survey, highlighting how twice as many girls than boys reported that a lack of confidence prevents them from taking part in activities, Mr McWilliam wanted to do something.

He said: “Over recent years, there has been a clear erosion of self-belief, confidence, and resilience within young people.

“Increasing expectations from peers and superiors, an over exposure to the negative aspects of social media, and an unhealthy over reliance on quick fixes have placed increasing pressure on today’s children.”

The new book, The Amazing Journey of Katy Cupsworth, introduces the six key concepts of self-esteem, confidence, resilience, empathy, attitude and mindfulness, through the character Katy, who wants to become a professional footballer.

Mr McWilliam said: “It’s a simple, yet effective way to enhance child development so that each child can make a positive impact in the world, be it in football or anything else.

“By the end of the story, both children and adults will possess an effective toolkit of strategies.”

Former footballer Mark Lawrenson is among the fans of the new book, as he said: “Ross’s latest book is an engaging story that also gives crucial strategies, tool-kits and simple tips.”

NHS Digital revealed that one in 10 primary school children and more than half of 14-year-olds experience a mental health issue.

Mr McWilliam found that girls were more likely to experience issues after the age of 11, which is why he wrote the book to help girls develop emotionally before ay mental health problems could arise and continue into later life.

The Amazing Journey of Katy Cupsworth is available to buy from katyajourney.com