Celebrities and young people talking to the camera asking you to join them in adding your name to the open letter.

28 February 2024 Young campaigners and Dr Alex George join forces to demand more mental health support

Leading mental health charity YoungMinds and Dr Alex George will be joined by young people to hand in a letter today (28 February) at Downing Street, demanding more support in every community for young people struggling with their mental health.

Over 15,000 people have signed the letter1, addressed to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, which urges the Government to commit to fund early support hubs in every community in this Spring Budget. A national roll-out of early support hubs would end the postcode lottery of early support so all young people have access to a hub where they can get help for their mental health without having to wait for an appointment or referral.

Television presenter and influencer Chloe Burrows, broadcaster Sean Fletcher, R&B group FLO, Youth Mental Health Ambassador Dr Alex George, comedian Rosie Jones, musician Mabel and influencer Evie Meg, all supported the call by adding their names to the letter.

Youth charities across the sector have also backed the call for investment, including members of the Fund the Hubs coalition.

The demand for government action comes at a time when more young people than ever are struggling with their mental health. Recent NHS data2 shows 1 in 5 young people aged 8-25 had a probable mental health disorder in 2023. This increases to almost 1 in 4 (22%) 17–24-year-olds. Currently, children in England wait an average of 21 weeks for their first mental health appointment and often their mental health deteriorates while waiting. The consequences of this can be devastating.

A group of five young people wearing jackets, standing side by side against a wall and looking straight ahead.
Handing in this letter is hugely important to me. I know from my own personal experience how important early intervention is. If I had not had early intervention for my mental health, I would have hit crisis point very quickly. This is a prospect facing thousands of young people at the moment. We are living in a mental health crisis, with mental illness on the rise. This is only going to get worse without urgent, comprehensive action. The Government needs to fund the hubs and end the wait before this crisis escalates any further.
Paddy, A YoungMinds Activist
  • With more young people than ever struggling with their mental health, the scale of the youth mental health emergency is distressing. Every day we hear from young people unable to get the support they need. They are calling for help from a broken system, facing long waits for support with many becoming more unwell before receiving any help. Others are turned away because they’re told they’re not ill enough. It’s time the Government listened to young people and prioritised their mental health. We welcome the Government’s recent commitment to provide funding for some existing hubs, recognising the vital role that they play in our communities. We urge the Chancellor to take the opportunity in his Spring Budget to fully fund the hubs and answer the calls that thousands of young people and organisations have made.
    Tom Madders, Director of Communications and Campaigns at YoungMinds
  • I hear every day how hard it is for young people to access support for their mental health. This is why it is so important to me to be alongside young people handing in this letter. Early support hubs will ease the pressure on the NHS and prevent more young people from reaching crisis. It is great that the Government have made an extra commitment to support existing hubs in the country. A further commitment for a national roll-out will make an enormous difference and ensure every young person can access support for their mental health.
    Dr Alex George, Youth Mental Health Ambassador

YoungMinds are calling on all young people to demand the Government keep its promise to end the crisis in young people’s mental health.

Find out more about our campaign to #FundTheHubs

For further information and for interview requests please contact press@youngminds.org.uk or call 0203 861 2072. 

 

[1] Letter to the Chancellor

[2] NHS data

 

Fund the Hubs campaign group consists of: BACP, Black Thrive Global, Centre for Mental Health, The Children’s Society, Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition, Mind, Youth Access, YoungMinds.

About YoungMinds

YoungMinds is the UK’s leading charity fighting for young people’s mental health.

Follow us on Twitter @YoungMindsUK and Facebook.

For free advice and support for parents, call our Parents Helpline on 0808 802 5544.

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