Equal Access in Mind

Equal Access in Mind is a two-year project funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) as part of its Tampon Tax Fund.
The project aims to tackle rising mental health need amongst young women aged 16-25 by increasing access to high quality, gender-informed, young person-centred services in local communities.

The project aims to provide targeted access through Youth Information, Advice and Counselling Services (YIACS) to psychological therapies, advice and groupwork interventions, particularly for young women from BAME backgrounds and/or with experience of violence or insecure housing.

We are working with 12 partners delivering across 11 sites as follows: 

All 12 partners are Youth Access members. Find out more about Youth Access membership here.


In the first year of the project, delivery partners have employed teams of advisers, counsellors and youth workers to provide:

  • 4364 one-to-one casework, advice and support to address a range of social and emotional issues, e.g. housing, benefits, debt, relationships, isolation, general health, to 1844 young women.
  • 2317 assessments and ‘open-ended’ counselling/psychological therapies for 667 young women with a range of mental health problems.
  • Groupwork programmes focused on key areas, e.g. Domestic Violence, affecting young women’s mental health and wellbeing. This includes targeted groups for BAME and LGBTQI+ young women. 554 young women attended group work as part of the project.
  • Outreach services to ensure reach to the most vulnerable and at-risk young women. 980 young women were supported by outreach services.
  • A range of participation opportunities, e.g. advisory groups and volunteering.

Delivery partners have also:

  • Promoted the project and services directly to young women, submitted regular reports to Youth Access; engaged with each other and Youth Access’ wider network of members to share learning.

Youth Access’ role has been to:

  • Lead the consortium and project manage the project, including management of independent evaluation, and develop learning collaboratives for practitioners to share good practice on specific issues related to the project.
  • Begin the process of establishing a community of practice around improving access and experience for BAME young people and effective gender informed services. Youth Access members can apply to be part of these and other member communities here.