Act Early for young people's mental health

Our campaign, Act Early, calls on the new government to work together to look after young people’s mental health and get early help to all young people who need it.

About the campaign

There is a mental health crisis for children and young people. More and more young people are reaching out for help but not enough are getting support.

One in eight children and young people have a diagnosable mental health condition but at the moment, the NHS is only able to support about one-third of those in need. Shockingly, the number of young people arriving in A&E with a mental health problem has tripled since 2010. In some cases, this is because they haven’t been able to get help anywhere else.

There has been welcome investment in the NHS but services will remain overstretched unless the government takes a radical new approach.

Our campaign, Act Early, calls on the new government to work together to look after young people’s mental health and get early help to all young people who need it.

An update on our Act Early event

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, we have had to cancel our event in Parliament on 30th March. We know that this is disappointing news but we’re working on making sure your voice is still heard in Parliament.

We got an overwhelmingly positive response from MPs expressing their interest in coming along to find out more about the campaign. Over the coming weeks we will be taking the campaign online and will set up calls with as many MPs as possible so that they can still hear directly from our Activists about their experience of accessing support for their mental health.   

The campaign so far

General Election 2019 

For the general election 2019, we asked you to email your local parliamentary candidates, calling on them to pledge their support for young people’s mental health if they are elected.

We asked you to do this so that the politicians from all parties understand why young people’s mental health is so important. It also helps us to show the next Government why they need to take action to ensure young people can get the help they need, when they need it. 

Thank you to everyone who took the action.

YoungMinds Activists hand in petition

In November 2019, our activists headed to Parliament to hand in a petition of over 70,000 signatures calling on the next Government to Act Early for young people’s mental health.

our Activists hand in the Act Early petition

Did you know?

Our recent survey found:

  • Two thirds of young people could not find support when they first needed it.
  • 75% of young people agreed that they had had to manage their mental health on their own when they couldn’t find help elsewhere but only 17% felt confident in their ability to do this.
  • 71% of young people turned to their friends for help whilst waiting for mental health support
  • 77% of young people said pressure to do well at school had had a significant effect on their mental health
  • 69% of young people said worrying about how they look had had a significant effect on their mental health
  • 90% of GPs agreed that they had seen a rise in the number of young people seeking support for their mental health in the last three years. 4% disagreed.
  • Only 10% of GPs agreed that they usually felt confident that a referral to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) would result in treatment. More than three-quarters (76%) disagreed.
  • Nearly half (47%) agreed that they sometimes acted above their level of competency when supporting young people with mental health problems. 28% disagreed.

Our solution

We're calling on the new government to introduce a bold cross-government strategy for children and young people's mental health, which will:

  • Address the factors that make young people's mental health worse
  • Support all young people and families to better understand and manage their mental health
  • Provide early intervention in every community
  • Reform and modernise our mental health services

Read our manifesto: A Strategy for Young People's Mental Health 

Together we can tackle this crisis. But the new government needs to #ActEarly and ensure that young people’s mental health is a priority across the government.

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