Concern in mental health sector as government plans ‘fall short of the mark’ for young adults

As the government announces its intention to plough on with plans outlined in the green paper “Transforming Mental Health for Children and Young People”, the youth advice and counselling charity Youth Access has expressed concerns that the proposals will leave young adults feeling let down once again.

Youth Access supported the Department of Health & Social Care’s consultation with young people, who flagged up limitations in the government’s schools-focused approach. Key concerns detailed in the consultation response included:

  • The lack of action on issues faced by young adults aged 16-25
  • Limited scope to support young people who are NEET or less able to seek support at school due to bullying, caring responsibilities or illness

James Kenrick, CEO of Youth Access says:

“We are encouraged that the Government both provided a space for high quality consultation with young people and have taken account of the forthright views young people expressed. However, we are concerned that a number of important issues raised by young people have not been met by concrete action.

“Young people have been clear: urgent action is required to improve access to services and support for 16-25 year olds. This is the age group least well served by the existing mental health system. Yet there is nothing in the Government’s plans to address young adults’ needs in a meaningful way.

We had hoped to see the experiences and expertise of young people reflected in a shift of priorities, but today’s announcement leaves us concerned that the Government’s plans may leave many of the young people we work with feeling abandoned, cynical and alienated.

“All hope for improving young adults’ mental health services now rests on the 10 year plan for the NHS, which provides another chance for the Government to finally address this burning injustice.”

View the full report of our Department of Health and Social Care funded consultations with young people