The campaign for local, easy-to-access mental health services for every young person in England

Along with our allies The Children’s Society, Mind, Young Minds and the wider Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition, we're calling on the Government to fund ‘open access mental health hubs’ in every local area in England, with our joint #FundTheHubs campaign.

Youth Access has long advocated for the role of Youth Information Advice and Counselling Services (YIACS) as a cornerstone of a mental health system that meets young people's rights. Sometimes called one-stop-shops, drop-in centres or 'hubs', these services, which make up a large portion of the Youth Access membership, provide tailored emotional and practical support for young people along the journey into adulthood. 

Now, more and more organisations across the mental health system are with us. As each of us has listened to young people, it's clear that's what is missing from mental health provision are local, easy-to-access which allow young people to get help as early as possible.

Moreover, we know our members already provide that, and could do so much more with the right investment. Evidence shows that:

  • Counselling provided by Youth Access members is just as effective as that from CAMHS or school-based services, with much higher rates of satisfaction
  • These services help bridge the 'cliff edge' between children's and adult's services, serving young adults up to age 25, rather than 18 as in than CAMHS and schools
  • Young people find these services more accessible than CAMHS or school-based counselling, and they serve a higher proportion of young people from communities who are often poorly served by other services.

Together, we're calling for proper funding in these services - at least £150million - so that every single young person in England can access a ‘hub’. These hubs should:

  • Be ‘open access’, meaning young people can access support on their own terms – no waiting lists, no thresholds, no ‘wrong door’, with support available by self-referral and drop-in
  • Offer support up to age 25, to ensure young people are supported right through the difficult transition into adulthood
  • Offer a range of services to support young people’s mental health and wellbeing, taking a 'whole life' approach to supporting young people through the challenges of adolescence
  • Build on local expertise and support already on offer through services like our members, as well as setting up new services where none exist.

We're working with allies in the Children and Young People's Mental Health Coalition to build support for these demands: speaking to MPs, organising events, producing briefings, and taking action with members and young people.