The government has announced additional funding to provide early mental health support to children and young people.
Around 60 early support hubs are currently available throughout the country and open to those aged 11 to 25. Run by local services, the drop-in centres offer mental health support and advice to young people without a referral from a doctor or school.
Services include group work, counselling, psychological therapies, specialist advice, and signposting.The hubs can also offer advice on sexual health, exam stress, jobs, drugs, alcohol and financial worries.
Almost £5 million will be provided to 10 existing hubs in order to expand their current services and employ new staff.
‘I want to assure you we’re working to get your children that vital early support,’ says mental health minister, Maria Caulfield. ‘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.’
On average, 50% of mental health conditions are established by the time a child reaches 14, and 75% by 24. Early support can prevent children and young people from developing lasting problems that can have a long-term impact on their lives.
Dr Alex George, the government’s youth mental health ambassador said that early intervention in mental health is ‘paramount’, and that the ‘announcement of additional funding for early support hubs across the country is a milestone to be celebrated’.
‘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’, he continued. ‘We have to make sure the support is there as early as possible.’
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