Our Chair Natalie Bailey has urged the government to invest in a nationwide network of counsellors at community hubs to support children and young people.

Natalie said there are trained and skilled therapists ready to take on the roles and provide "desperately-needed support" for children, young people and their families.

Her comments come as a survey by mental health charity Mind shows that 34% of grandparents say that mental health is their biggest concern for their grandchildren's generation.

The survey found that that half of parents believe that their child's mental health is now worse than pre pandemic.

Mental health support

Mind surveyed more than 2,000 grandparents and 2,000 parents across England as part of the #FundtheHubs campaign and identified widespread support for a network of early mental health support hubs for young people in England.

We’re backing the campaign and joined more than 50 organisations last year in calling for the network of early support hubs.

The aim of the hubs is to provide vital wrap around wellbeing support for young people when they first start to experience mental health problems, with no need for a referral or appointment.

Natalie said: “It's distressing that parents and grandparents are not only seeing the devastating impact the pandemic has had on their children's mental health, but that it's having an effect on their own wellbeing too.

“They're desperate to know what they can do to help, where they can turn for support and many feel like they face a brick wall when trying to access mental health support for their children.

“Investment that will provide early access to a specialist children and young people's counsellor in communities, such as in these hubs, is crucial in meeting the rising mental health demands of young people.

Trained and skilled counsellors

“We know there are trained and skilled counsellors able to take on these roles if funding was provided.

“The Government must listen to these calls for further investment in specialist counselling provision for those children, young people and families who desperately need support.”

Our Chair Natalie Bailey says investment is needed now

Our Chair Natalie Bailey says investment is needed now

Mind’s survey also revealed that 15% of parents believe the UK Government is doing enough to support young people's mental health, with seven in 10 (71%) saying it’s difficult for young people to get NHS mental health support.

Only one in five grandparents (21%) think the government is doing enough to support young people's mental health with three in four (75%) believing that the UK is facing a mental health crisis.

Paul Farmer, CEO at Mind, said: “The scale of unmet need for relevant and appropriate mental health support for young people is huge and growing. By not acting now the UK government risks failing a whole generation.

“A successful 10-year cross-government plan for mental health must commit to Funding the Hubs. The provision of a network of early support hubs for young people across England would make sure 11-25 year olds have somewhere to go when they first start to struggle – rather than being left to reach crisis point and needing more intensive – and expensive – support. The earlier a young person gets support for their mental health, the more effective that support is likely to be.”