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Early support mental health hubs receive £3m extra funding

Early support mental health hubs receive £3m extra funding
By Beth Gault
28 February 2024

The Government has announced an additional £3m in funding to expand more early support mental health hubs to offer services to children and young people.

The additional funding comes after the Government pledged £4.92m in October to support 10 hubs to expand their offering to those aged between 11 and 25.

This new £3m will increase the overall funding to £8m and the number of hubs offering support to children and young people to 24 across the country.

Young people who do not meet the threshold to access NHS support will now be able to access help from these drop-in hubs without a referral from their doctor or school. Services will include psychological therapies, specialist advice and help with issues including sexual health, exam worries, alcohol and finance.

Currently, there are around 70 early support hubs across the country.

Mental health minister Maria Caulfield said: ‘No child or young person should suffer alone, and this additional funding for 24 mental health hubs 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.’

In response to the announcement, deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery, said: ‘Any extra support and early intervention is welcome but mental health must be more of a national priority, backed by adequate funding and support, to improve the quality of and access to services.

‘Too many children and young people and their families face long waits for mental health and community health services vital for their wellbeing and development.’

Rise in mental health problems

The news comes as the number of young people experiencing a common mental health problem has increased, according to a report from the Resolution Foundation and the Health Foundation.

The report, called We’ve only just begun, found that between 2021-22, 34% of young people aged 18-24 reported symptoms of depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder. This was up from 24% in 2000.

Director of health at the Health Foundation, Jo Bibby, said: ‘The increase in the incidence of mental illness in young people is one of the greatest health challenges we currently face. It is already directly impacting the health and well-being of millions of people.

‘Policymakers need to focus on the building blocks of health, such as good employment and education, to ensure young people get the support they need and have the tools to move through the world as adults. Without concerted cross-government action, we risk creating a ‘lost generation’ due to ill health.’

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