Responding to today’s announcement that the Government is investing nearly £5 million in early support hubs, which offer informal drop-in mental health support, the Fund the Hubs Coalition (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 UK Government’s announcement to provide additional support for ten existing early support hubs recognises the vital role these community services play in bringing mental health support and advice to young people.
“With now over a million referrals to children and young people’s mental health services every year, we know that the struggle to keep up with demand is only increasing. Early intervention options are desperately needed and will make a huge difference to many young people who are struggling with their mental health.
“Tens of thousands of young people have fought hard to fund the hubs. These spaces will mean that young people can get support for their mental health as soon as they need it, rather than waiting months and sometimes years for help. In the context young people are navigating, this additional funding for services is worth celebrating. We welcome this step in the right direction and hope that more hubs will be funded in future, so every young person in every community can access the support they provide.”
Andy Bell, chief executive at Centre for Mental Health, said: “There has been a continuous decline in children and young people’s mental health over the past decade. Specialist mental health services have been struggling to keep up with rising demand resulting in long waits for help and some young people being turned away altogether. In this time, we have also seen early intervention services battling against dwindling budgets. We know that high quality early intervention support can prevent mental health problems from emerging or worsening.
“As a member of the Fund the Hubs coalition, we’ve been calling for a full national roll-out of these vital services, and an end to the postcode lottery in provision, so that all young people have the best support for their mental health. Evidence demonstrates that early support hubs achieve good outcomes for young people facing multiple and enduring inequalities, such as those from LGBTQ+ and racialised backgrounds. Our analysis also shows there is a strong business case for investing in early intervention and in early support hubs, preventing later, longer-term and more costly interventions.
“Today’s announcement and commitment must be the first step towards a comprehensive package and plan to make early support hubs accessible for all children and young people in all parts of the country. This should sit alongside wider transformation of children and young people’s mental health support which centres care within the community.”