The YIACS Model

Standing up for young people’s right to holistic, person-centred support. Offering guidance. Connecting young people with counselling and advice services where they live.

Youth Access is the national membership body representing and championing a diverse network of members known as Youth Information, Advice and Counselling Services (YIACS), which offer support for young people all over the country. 

Our members are rooted in local communities and offer free, easily accessible and age-appropriate support to those aged 11 to 25 with various issues (from mental health and wellbeing to education, employment, housing and so much more).  

YIACS are designed and developed with young people’s needs and rights in mind, providing a holistic, person-first approach. We know that young people have complex and intersecting needs. The wraparound support they receive from our members is not only vital, but what young people tell us they need.  

Learn about the model

Our members recognise and respect the individual needs, culture and background of each young person. We know that our members have a better reach to young people from typically worst-served groups than statutory services, like CAMHS. YIACS continuously strive for all young people to have equal access. By providing equitable support, young people are treated as people and not just their diagnoses. 

YIACS are: 

  • Effective: Comparable clinical outcomes to CAMHS and schools-based counselling
  • Open-access: Young people are never turned away because they are “not sick enough” 
  • Wider reaching: Better reach to young people from least-heard and worst-served backgrounds who may otherwise slip through the cracks of statutory services and school settings  
  • A bridge, not a cliff edge: Support up to age 25, bridging the all-important transition into adulthood
  • What young people want: Young people repeatedly tell us that they want ‘whole life’ support 

The support you’ll find in your local YIACS is shaped around the needs of young people in your local area.