Twenty three projects supporting young people with mental health problems are to benefit from £3.3 million of funding, the government has announced.
Support including counselling, mentoring and arts programmes will be offered to young people with mental ill health in their communities as a result of the funding.
Minister for Public Health Jo Churchill said: “It’s only right that children and young people are able to access mental health support, not only through the NHS, but in the heart of their communities, schools and homes where they spend the majority of their time.
“The voluntary sector has a hugely important role to play in delivering these services and our Health and Wellbeing Fund is leading the way in ensuring government plays a role in cultivating the most effective, innovative and successful forms of community support – backed by an extra £2.3 billion a year to improve NHS mental health services too," she added.
The funding will allow more children and young people aged 25 and under to access local services to support their mental health, with early intervention for those at risk of mental health problems. The projects have an emphasis on improving access to support outside of NHS services, including for groups such as LGBT young people or those from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.
Projects receiving funding include:
- LifeLine Community Projects in Barking and Dagenham which will receive over £298,000 to expand their preventive work with young people most at risk of poor mental health.
- York Mind will receive £50,000 to expand their Arts Award programme, which connects young people to the arts.
- The Proud Trust’s Peer Support Project in Manchester will receive over £23,000 to support more LGBT young people discovering their sexuality/gender and coming out.
Earlier this year the government pledged to improve mental health support through better access to education, training and support across communities. Teachers will be trained to spot the signs of mental health problems to enable them to intervene early before issues escalate.
The funding is coming from the Health and Wellbeing Fund, part of a programme of
government investment in the voluntary sector. This funding boost follows last summer’s funding increase to the NHS budget, which will see the health service receive an extra £33.9 billion more every year by 2024 to support the NHS Long Term Plan.
Kathy Roberts, CEO – Association of Mental Health Providers, said: “The NHS Long Term Plan made a number of promises for mental health in the next 10 years, including the much-needed scaling up and improvement of support for children and young people.
“The voluntary sector has a key role in transforming mental health care and offers a range support for children and young people. The sector is innovative, has reach into communities, and there is huge potential to expand and scale up its offer. Association of Mental Health Providers therefore welcomes the Health and Wellbeing Fund’s focus on this important area and the funding of 23 exceptional voluntary and community sector projects," she added.