A male and female student leaning against the wall

Released 30 September 2021 Stephen Fry and 53 organisations back thousands of young people calling for better early mental health support

Stephen Fry and 53 youth and mental health organisations have backed thousands of young people who are asking the Chancellor Rishi Sunak to fund early support hubs in the Autumn Spending Review.

Young people have written to the Chancellor about the lack of early mental support and the impact this has had on their ability to get the help they need. They are calling for a national network of early support hubs to provide easy-to-access, drop-in mental health support for young people, on a self-referral basis.

In a letter published today, Thursday 30th September 2021, Stephen Fry and 53 organisations, have stated their support for the young people who are writing to the Chancellor, urging the Government to listen to the young people and make a serious funding commitment in the upcoming Spending Review. Organisations who have signed the letter include YoungMinds, Mind, The Children’s Society, Youth Access, Centre for Mental Health, The Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition, Black Thrive Global, The Royal College of Psychiatrists, BACP, the Samaritans and many others. 

There is also growing evidence that the Covid-19 pandemic has put extra pressure on mental health services, which despite greater investment, remain significantly overstretched. Many of the young people who wrote the letter to the Chancellor did not get early support in their local area when they started struggling with their mental health. This resulted in their mental health deteriorating and needing more support in the future. Early support hubs will ease the pressure on the NHS and provide a space for young people to get support before they reach crisis.

“If I had had an early support hub like the one we are campaigning for, I could have escaped years of struggling. I could have received help for my anxiety and panic attacks in a supportive environment, and built a community with people going through similar things, saving me from what became complete isolation.

“Early support hubs for mental health act as a net that catches the young people who fall through the gaps. Access to one means young people don’t have to carry the huge task of managing their mental health alone.”
YoungMinds Activist, Asher, one of the co-authors of the letter to the Chancellor Rishi Sunak

YoungMinds Activists (young people with lived experience of struggling with their mental health who work with the charity), wrote the letter to the Chancellor and young people across the UK were invited to add their names. Four Activists have taken the letter to Number 11 to hand directly to the Chancellor today.

The organisations who have shown support for the young people writing to the Chancellor include:

Stephen Fry, Actor, Author, Broadcaster, Comedian and President of mental health charity Mind

Emma Thomas, Chief Executive, YoungMinds

Dr Jacqui Dyer MBE, Director, Black Thrive Global

Sarah Hughes, Chief Executive, Centre for Mental Health

Norman Lamb, Chair, Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition

Mark Russell, Chief Executive, The Children’s Society

Paul Farmer, Chief Executive, Mind

Cassandra Harrison, Chief Executive, Youth Access

Pippa Goodfellow, Director, Alliance for Youth Justice

Jolanta Lasota, Chief Executive, Ambitious About Autism

Natalie Bailey, Chair, BACP

Andrew Radford, Chief Executive, Beat

Louisa Rose, Chief Executive, Beyond

Helen Marshall, Chief Executive, Brook

Geethika Jayatiaka, Chief Executive, Chance UK

Kathy Evans, Chief Executive, Children England

Robin Barker, Chief Executive, Healthy Teen Minds

Dr Asha Patel, Chief Executive, Innovating Minds

Danny Hutchinson, Operations Director, Invictus Wellbeing

Louisa McGeehan, Chief Executive, Just for Kids Law

Tim Barker, Chief Executive, Kooth

Beth French, Chief Executive and Founder, Let’s Talk About Loss

Leigh Wallbank, Chief Executive, OCD Action

Shelly Whitehead, Director, Lock House Consulting Limited

Dr Amy Pollard FRSA, Director, Mental Health Collective

Simon Blake OBE, Chief Executive, Mental Health First Aid England

Mark Rowland, Chief Executive, Mental Health Foundation

Anna Feuchtwang, Chief Executive, National Children’s Bureau

Claire Dorer, Chief Executive, NASS

Sean Duggan, Chief Executive, NHS Confederation’s Mental Health Network

Alyson Wylding, Director, No5 Young People

Leigh Middleton¸ Chief Executive, NYA

Karen Black, Chief Executive, Off the Record Bristol

Dympna Cunnane, Chief Executive, Our Time

Ged Flynn, Chief Executive, PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide

Jabeer Butt OBE, Chief Executive, Race Equality Foundation

Jo Revill, Chief Executive, RCPCH

Dr Elaine Lockhart, Chair of Child & Adolescent Faculty, RCPsych

Mark Winstanley, Chief Executive, Rethink Mental Illness

Wendy Minhinnett, Director, Rollercoaster Family Support

Julie Bentley, Chief Executive, Samaritans

Sharon White OBE, Chief Executive, School and Public Health Nurses Association (SAPHNA)

Jon Salmon and Jo Emmerson, Directors, Speakers Collective CIC

Andrew Varley, Chief Executive, St Vincent’s Family Project

Juliet Hope MBE, Chief Executive, Startup

Rosie Tressler OBE, Chief Executive, Student Minds

Diana Ashby, Change Programme Manager and Deputising Chief Executive, The British Psychological Society

Clare Stafford, Chief Executive, The Charlie Waller Trust

Tessy Ojo CBE, Chief Executive, The Diana Award

Ndidi Okezie, Chief Executive, UK Youth

Anna Matthews, Chair of Trustees, UMHAN

John de Pury, Assistant Director of Policy/Mental Health lead, Universities UK

Rachel Kirby-Rider, Chief Executive, Young Lives vs Cancer

Joel Sutton, Chief Executive, Youth Mental Health Foundation

Claire Bethel, Consultant, Way Ahead

ENDS

YoungMinds are leading the movement to make sure every young person gets the mental health support they need, when they need it, no matter what.

For more information please visit www.youngminds.org.uk

Follow us on Twitter @YoungMindsUK, Facebook and Instagram

Any parent or carer worried about the mental health of a young person under 25 can contact our free Parents Helpline via email, webchat or by calling 0808 802 5544.