We’re delighted to welcome the UK Government’s commitment to fund at least 10 early intervention mental health hubs for those aged 11 to 25 in England.
These can be existing services or those that want to expand their current offer of counselling to include other ‘one-stop shop’ interventions. They’ll receive funding for a one-year period from April 2024 to 2025 from a total allocation of £3.1 million.
Fund the Hubs campaign success
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 supported the Fund the Hubs campaign since 2021. Our campaign has pushed for more hubs so children and young people have greater choice and can access free counselling in their own community, delivered by paid counselling and psychotherapy workforce.
Among other services, hubs offer easy-to-access, drop-in support on a self-referral basis for young people who perhaps don’t meet the threshold for Children and Young People’s Mental Health Services (CYPMHS) or with emerging mental health needs, up to age 25. They can offer access to a range of support such as group work, youth participation projects, LGBTQ+ groups, alongside one-to-one support, including counselling. The hubs usually follow the Youth Access YIACS Model (youth information, advice and counselling services).
Need for further funding
Although the funding is welcome, we’re concerned the Government has only committed to funding the hubs on a one-year short-term basis and that the reach will still be relatively low. We’ll be continuing to push for a commitment for an additional roll-out of hubs from all political parties ahead of the next general election.
Jo Holmes, our Children, Young People and Families Policy Lead, said:
“While celebrating the success and all the hard work we collectively put into this campaign, we know there’s more work to do to address the growing number of children and young people needing access to psychological services, including counselling.
"Although success is on a smaller scale than we campaigned for, we’re delighted that it means paid work for the profession and more access to support for children and young people in need.
“It will also provide more evidence, through a much-needed evaluation at the end of the funded year, to demonstrate the benefits of holding youth information, advice and counselling services under one roof.
"We know current hubs help reduce pressure on the NHS and improve young people’s lives by providing a nearby space to access support. So, we urge the government to increase funding and commit to the hubs programme long term.
“With growing waiting lists and increasing demands on services the hubs represent great value for money as well as providing a one-stop shop for key support services, including counselling, for children and young people.”
Access the procurement process (open until 30th October).
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We've joined other organisations in writing to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care