The NCPS welcomes the UK government's recent announcement of nearly £5 million in funding for early support hubs. This marks a significant step forward in addressing the mental health crisis among children and young people nationwide.
The early support hubs, aimed at providing mental health and wellbeing support for those aged 11 to 25, align closely with the NCPS' Access to Counselling for Every Child campaign. These hubs represent a pivotal opportunity to offer timely and appropriate mental health care, particularly for those who may not meet the threshold for NHS support.
Crucially, about 50% of mental health conditions are established by the time a child reaches 14, and 75% by 24. Early intervention at these hubs can prevent the development of enduring conditions with long-term impacts. This proactive approach is in line with our campaign's focus on early, accessible, and effective mental health support.
The expansion of these hubs also presents an opportunity for the inclusion of more counsellors and psychotherapists in the mental health workforce. This aligns with our calls for the integration of these professionals into national mental health provision. The additional staff in the hubs can augment the existing services, providing more comprehensive care.
Furthermore, the hubs' focus on wider issues affecting young people's mental health, such as sexual health, exam worries, and financial concerns, underscores the need for holistic mental health care. This approach is essential in addressing the multifaceted nature of young people's mental health challenges.
As the government conducts evaluations to assess the impact of these hubs, the NCPS sees this as an opportunity to further validate the need for early, accessible, and diverse mental health support services. We believe that these hubs can serve as a model for the future of youth mental health care in the UK, offering timely, appropriate and accessible support for young people in need.