Designing better mental healthcare facilities

Twenty-four community hubs will offer earlier mental health intervention

Thousands of children and young people will receive earlier, easy access mental health interventions at 24 hubs in local communities, the Department of Health and Social Care has announced.

The drop-in centres offer mental health support and advice to young people without a referral by a doctor or school. Services provided include group work, counselling, psychological therapies, specialist advice, and signposting to information and other services.

The Government announced in October 2023 that £ 4.92 million would be available for 10 early support hubs. It is now providing an additional £3 million to expand the number of hubs to 24 across the country – in locations from Exeter to Liverpool. The DHSC says the £8 million overall package will improve access for children and young people to vital mental health support, ‘offering early interventions to improve wellbeing before their condition escalates further’, and reducing pressure on NHS services.

Mental Health Minister, Maria Caulfield (pictured), said: “This government is taking the long-term decisions needed to make our healthcare system faster, simpler, and fairer. Mental health support for our young people is a key part of that.  No child or young person should suffer alone, and this additional funding for 24 mental health hubs will improve access and bring in more staff and experts who can help those who need it the most. This will build on the brilliant work they already do, and supports our ongoing work to ensure every person has access the highest quality mental health services.”

The hubs are open to those aged 11 to 25, and are available for anyone who may not meet the threshold to receive NHS support.  A network of around 70 early support hubs currently exist across England – run by a local services including volunteer organisations, NHS Trusts, and local authorities. 

The Department of Health and Social Care says investment in NHS mental health services continues to increase each year – from almost £11 bn in the 2015-2016 financial year, to almost £16 billion in 2022-2023. An additional £2.3 billion of funding a year by this March  is being used ‘to expand and transform services’, so an extra two million people can get mental health support. This includes an extra 345,000 children and young people who will be able to access NHS-funded mental health support.  In addition, the Government is continuing to roll out mental health support teams to schools and colleges in England.


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