RCPCH responds to Government expansion of mental health hubs

The UK Government announced in October £4.92 million would be available for 10 mental health focused Early Support Hubs.
Document icon on blue background

On 27 February 2024 they announced an additional £3 million to expand the number of hubs to 24 across the country. 

The Government has said: 

  • 24 hubs will receive a share of almost £8 million to help young people get support with their mental health at an earlier stage.
  • Services include psychological therapies, specialist advice and wider issues which may affect a young person’s mental health, including sexual health, exam worries, jobs, drugs, alcohol and financial worries. 
  • The hubs are open to those aged 11-25, and are available for anyone who may not meet the threshold to receive NHS support.

RCPCH Officer for Mental Health, Dr Karen Street said: 

Access to timely support is vital to support children’s mental health. We know that children’s mental health needs have sky-rocketed since the pandemic, and 85% of providers say they are now struggling to keep up with demand, which has led to increasing numbers of children and young people presenting to the NHS in crisis. 

As such, any increase in mental health support services for children and young people in the community is to be welcomed, and an increase to 24 mental health hubs is an excellent starting point. Government must ensure there is national roll out, with multi-year investment that will put this programme on a sustainable footing. 

Responding well to young people's mental health needs across all settings, whether in early support hubs, schools, hospitals. or emergency departments, is crucial and is the responsibility of all professionals who work with young people. However, we know that in order to improve mental health and wellbeing in the long term, protective factors must be promoted and risk factors minimised. This includes national action to tackle child poverty, improve housing conditions and access to green spaces, and to improve children’s physical health. Only this will help all children and young people live happily, healthy and well.