Mental health support is ‘paramount’: government to offer thousands to expand services

The government have announced a new fund worth almost £5m to better aid children and young people struggling with their mental health.

Last week, central government revealed thousands of children and young people, aged between 11 and 25-years-old, will receive earlier mental health treatment in a move to help save lives and ensure fewer youngsters reach crisis point.

yellow smiley emoji on gray textile

Authorities plan to do this by pouring £4.92m into 10 existing support hubs across the country to help them expand their services.

The drop-in centres will offer mental health support to individuals without having to be referred by a doctor or school and people won’t even be required to make an appointment.

Services available at the community hubs include group work, counselling, psychological therapies, specialist advice and signposting to information and other solutions that are on hand to help people with their mental health.

Mental Health Minister Maria Caulfield said: ‘To parents across the nation – I want to assure you we’re working to get your children that vital early support. Our funding will help hubs to hire counsellors, youth workers and other local experts. It comes on top of an extra £2.3 billion a year to transform NHS mental health services and help millions of people.

‘I’d like to thank Dr Alex George and campaigners for their efforts highlighting the importance of early intervention in mental health. This funding can help to avoid tragic waits and save lives.’

The new measures have been welcomed with open arms as new research has found around 50% of mental health conditions are established by the time a child reaches the age of 14, and 75% by the age of 24.

However, access to early support can prevent infants, children, and young people from developing enduring conditions that can have severe long-term impacts on their quality of life.

Currently, it is estimated that there are 60 hubs already open across England, which, are run by a range of local services including volunteer organisations, local NHS trusts and councils.

‘Early intervention in mental health is paramount and today’s announcement of additional funding for early support hubs across the country is a milestone to be celebrated,’ said Dr Alex George, the government’s youth mental health ambassador. ‘No child or young person experiencing trauma should reach crisis point, and nobody should endure the enormous tragedy of losing a loved one to mental illness.’

Dr Alex added: ‘That is why I will keep working with the government to ensure every child and young adult knows they have somewhere to go when they feel lost, overwhelmed or down.’

In addition to offering help with immediate mental health struggles, the community hubs in England also provide guidance on wider issues such as sexual health, exam worries, jobs, drugs, alcohol, and financial worries, which, can all contribute to a person’s mental health.

Against this backdrop, support in schools is also vital, which is why the government has also made the decision to continue rolling out mental health support teams in such establishments.

There are currently around 400 mental health support teams in place across the country, covering over three million children or around 35% of pupils in schools and colleges. However, the government is extending coverage to at least 50% of pupils in England by the end of March 2025.

Image: Tim Mossholder

More on this topic:

Children under five are facing lifelong mental health conditions

‘Mental Health is a universal human right’: World Mental Health Day 2023


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Help us break the news – share your information, opinion or analysis
Back to top