Many constituents have contacted me to ask that I write to the Prime Minister regarding the #FundTheHubs campaign. The campaign calls on the Government to fund mental health hubs for young people. You can see the text of my letter to the Prime Minister below:
“Dear Prime Minister,
I am writing to you after being contacted by several of my constituents regarding support for the above campaign, seeking funding for early support hubs for young people’s mental health.
We are currently facing a growing mental health crisis. Children and young people in England have higher mental health needs than ever before, with 1 in 6 young people in England experiencing a mental health problem in 2020, compared to 1 in 9 in 2017.
Unfortunately, too often young people can’t get the support they desperately need. Only just over a third of young people (37%) with a diagnosable mental health condition can access NHS specialist support. Many are told their needs are not severe enough to receive help from Children and Young People’s Mental Health Services (CYPMHS). The earlier we support young people, the more effective that support will be.
The Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition, Centre for Mental Health, The Children’s Society, Youth Access, YoungMinds and Mind are calling for long-term, sustainable funding to introduce a network of hubs providing early mental health support across England. Under this model, young people up to the age of 25 could access an early support hub, without an appointment or a referral, in their local area.
Youth Information Advice and Counselling Services (YIACS) – which follow the early support hubs model – are already available in some parts of England. Research has found that over half of young people who used this service experienced a significant improvement in their mental health. Early support hubs are already an international success story. Headspace – a provider of early support hubs – has developed 110 services across Australia. In a 2015 study of 24,034 Headspace Australia users aged 12–25 years, 60% of young people showed improvements in their mental health. A 2019 follow up study suggested that these benefits are felt two years after using headspace services.
The last 18 months have been difficult for many of us, children and young people included. I have been concerned about the delay in children and young people receiving mental health support in Luton North, and across the country, for a long time. We need to do all we can to make sure that young people feel supported. Can you please provide me with further information on any plans to support funding for these hubs so I can respond directly to my constituents?
Rachel Hopkins MP”