We’re delighted that Yvette Cooper, the Shadow Home Secretary, has committed to funding youth mental health hubs to help tackle rising crime and the mental health crisis among UK teenagers.

The announcement, made during this week’s party conference, included a fund of £100 million towards 92 'Youth Futures' hubs in England and Wales – if Labour are elected. These hubs will also include targeted work around preventing youth crime, a central part of their model. 

Our Fund the Hubs campaign

We, along with several partners including Mind, Young Minds, Black Thrive, The Children’s Society, Centre for Mental Health, Youth Access and the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition, have campaigned for early access mental health hubs since 2021. We recognise the value of enabling young people to access information, advice and counselling services in one place in their community.

Our campaign pushed for more hubs because we know giving children and young people greater choice and access to free counselling in their own community, delivered by paid counselling and psychotherapy workforce is key to improving mental health and other life challenges.

Why mental health hubs work

Jo Holmes, our Children, Young People and Families Policy Lead, said: "The coming together of essential services under one roof makes sense, with youth workers, counsellors and other key professionals working together with guaranteed sustainable funding in place to offer a range of services, including counselling. While this model is not quite what we've campaigned for we will work to influence any policy developments to ensure these hubs are safe places for all children and young people to access in the heart of their communities.

"Funding so many hubs across England and Wales will go a huge way to reduce the postcode lottery of provision that so many children and young people face.

“Having worked in community hub services in the past and witnessed first-hand the benefit of a range of services under one roof (but always with huge funding constraints) and the essential role youth workers play in engaging with those most at risk, including preparing young people for counselling, this commitment is welcome and needed’’.

We also welcomed the UK Government’s announcement last month to fund at least 10 early intervention mental health hubs for those aged 11 to 25 in England. However, due to the Government committing to funding only on a one-year short-term basis we are concerned the impact and reach will be relatively low.

That’s why we’ll keep the pressure on all political parties ahead of the general election to keep and extend their support for funding youth mental health hubs.