A landmark moment for YIACS

17 March, 2015

Youth Access welcomes the launch of 'Future in mind', the report of the Children and Young People's Mental Health & Wellbeing Taskforce, which outlines a five year plan to tackle barriers faced by young people when accessing mental health services.

Included in the report is an acknowledgement of the key role to be played by the voluntary sector, and a recommendation to invest any new funding in extending access to services, such as Youth Information, Advice and Counselling Services (YIACS). There is now overwhelming evidence that the YIACS model provides young people with access to critical early intervention support on emotional and mental health issues alongside help with inter-related sexual health, housing, financial, drug & alcohol and relationships issues.

Barbara Rayment, Director of Youth Access, says:

"We were honoured to be invited to sit on the Taskforce and are delighted that the role of our members has been acknowledged. I would like to thank the Minister, Norman Lamb, NHS England and the Department of Health for their hard work and commitment to improving mental health services for young people - and for bringing YIACS into the spotlight.

This report is great news for YIACS and at last offers the potential for a better deal for young people. We hope that the next government will act upon these recommendations and ensure long overdue transformation in improving access to support happens.

In the short term, however, there remains a serious danger that we will lose some of the very services the Taskforce has identified as central to the future landscape of provision. It is critical that local authority, CAMHS and adult commissioners protect and increase funding for existing YIACS services. We and, we hope, others on the Taskforce will be holding them to account where they do not."

Links to reports:

Future In Mind - the report of the Children and Young People's Mental Health & Wellbeing Taskforce

YIACS: an integrated health and wellbeing model (Youth Access, 2015)

On The Right Tracks: A guide to commissioning counselling services for young people (Youth Access, 2014)

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