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More funding made available for young people’s mental health early support hubs

Twenty-four hubs will receive a share of almost £8 million to help young people get support with their mental health at an earlier stage.

29/02/24

More funding made available for young people’s mental health early support hubs

Thousands of children and young people will receive earlier access to mental health interventions at 24 hubs in local communities, the government says.

The drop-in centres offer mental health support and advice to young people without a referral by a doctor or school. Services provided include group work, counselling, psychological therapies, specialist advice and signposting to information and other services.

The government announced in October 2023 that £4.92 million would be available for 10 early support hubs. It is now providing an additional £3 million to expand the number of hubs to 24 across the country - ranging from Exeter to Liverpool.

The £8 million overall package will improve access for children and young people to vital mental health support, offering early interventions to improve wellbeing before their condition escalates further, which the government hopes will reduce pressure on NHS services.

Mental Health Minister Maria Caulfield said the additional funding will improve access and bring in more staff and experts who can help those who need it the most. “This will build on the brilliant work they already do, and supports our ongoing work to make sure every person has access the highest quality mental health services,” she said.

A network of around 70 early support hubs currently exists across the country. They are run by a range of local services including volunteer organisations, NHS trusts and local authorities. They aim to offer advice on wider issues which may affect a young person’s mental health, including sexual health, exam worries, jobs, drugs, alcohol and financial worries.

The ‘Fund the Hubs’ campaign group, compromising of BACP, Black Thrive Global, Centre for Mental Health, The Children’s Society, Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition, Mind, Youth Access, and YoungMinds, said the additional funding will mean more young people can access early mental health support and advice in their community.

“The funding recognises the vital role that these hubs can play in easing the huge pressure services are under and provide much needed early mental health support for young people,” a spokesperson for the group said.

“Thousands of young people and experts are still fighting hard to fund the hubs. These spaces mean young people can get support for their mental health as soon as they need it. We welcome this step forward and hope that a sustainably funded full national rollout will soon follow, so every young person can benefit from mental health support in their local community.”

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