New briefing summarises the evidence behind an integrated, youth-focused approach to supporting young people 

Youth Access have published a new briefing, The case beyond Covid, which explores the evidence behind integrated, youth-focused approaches to supporting young people, and argues for a key role for Youth Access members and ‘early support hubs’ as we emerge from the pandemic. 

Young people have borne the brunt of the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic which, in turn, is having a serious and worrying effect on their mental health and wellbeing. This is particularly the case for those communities who already faced multiple disadvantages before Covid-19.  

In order to recover from the pandemic, and to meet young people’s needs beyond Covid-19, we require a joined-up approach that takes effective, targeted and sustainable measures to support young people across every area of their lives. Failure to do so risks carving up young people’s issues and providing disjointed care which focuses on symptoms, rather than outcomes, and preventing young people from overcoming challenges which cut across different areas of their lives. 

Youth Access’ new briefing argues that it is past time to realise the recommendations outlined in Future in Mind and invest in the existing network of YIACS to improve young people’s access to early help. The evidence presented demonstrates: 

  • Comparable clinical outcomes with higher rates of satisfaction 
  • Improved accessibility for young people from marginalised communities
  • Advice is a cost-effective mental health intervention 
  • A range of support under one roof

This is the second of three briefings developed by Youth Access to support our members, the wider youth sector, commissioners and policymakers to anticipate and respond to the scale of socio-economic and mental health need among younger generations over the coming year and beyond. It summarises the evidence behind an integrated, youth-focused approach to supporting young people, in the model of Youth Information, Advice and Counselling Services (YIACS) that make up our membership. In doing so, it makes the case for a key role for local voluntary sector services such as YIACS and ‘early support hubs’ in tackling the ‘whole life’ challenges facing young people in light of the pandemic. 

“Young people can wait no more for investment in the services that will support them with the impact of the pandemic and the challenges thrown up on the journey into adulthood. With their wealth of expertise and deep roots in the communities they support, YIACS – and ‘open access’ services in general – must be at the heart of concerted efforts to support young people out of the present crisis.” 

- Cassandra Harrison, Youth Access CEO

Download the briefing