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What is an early support hub?

All the information you need to know about early support hubs, and why we believe a network of them can help ensure young people can access early mental health support.

We’re hoping that you are here because you are interested in the #FundTheHubs campaign but you want more information about what an early support hub actually is.

The following should provide you with all the information you need to know, so you can then tell your MP to #FundTheHubs.

Why do we need early support hubs?

So firstly, we want to explain why we think early support hubs are so important. Right now, there are a limited options for young people when they first start to struggle with their mental health. This means, that for many, their mental health gets much worse before they get support.

We also know that more and more young people are struggling with their mental health. In July 2020, data from the NHS suggested that 1 in 6 young people now has a probable mental health disorder, up from 1 in 9 in 2017.

This is what we mean when we talk about a ‘crisis’ in young people’s mental health – more and more young people need support but there just simply isn’t enough out there, especially at the early stages.

We also know that the earlier a young person gets support, the more effective it will be. So that’s where early support hubs come in…

So what is an early support hub?

Early support hubs offer drop-in support on a self-referral basis for anyone up to age 25 struggling with their mental health and wellbeing.

Because they are easy to access, they take away some of the barriers we hear that young people face when they first reach out and it means that young people can go to them without needing an appointment first.

They can be flexible to their location and what is already there, but generally speaking they will be:

  • physical, dedicated spaces in local areas specifically for young people up to age 25
  • created for young people and their needs
  • they bring together information and advice for young people on work, employment and sexual health alongside support for mental health.

We want a network of them across the country so as many young people as possible can access them. Early support hubs already exist in some areas but national, long-term funding would secure their future and ensure that young people in most areas will be able to access them, in the same way as they do in other countries. There are similar programmes already established in Australia, Denmark and Ireland.

Early support hubs offer drop-in support on a self-referral basis

What if I have a hub in my area already?

If you think you have a hub in your area already then that is great and we still want you to take action. Tell your MP why it has been important in your community or anything else you might want to share about it. It’s important that MPs who have early support hubs in their constituencies still write to the Prime Minister because we need to guarantee their funding for the future as well as show what impact they can have. This we hope will persuade the Government to #FundTheHubs and invest in a national network.

If you are not sure whether you have a hub but think you do or have been told about a similar service before, let us know and we’ll look into it for you. Email [email protected].

You can tell your MP why your early support hub has been so important for your constituency

What difference will early support hubs make?

Early support hubs have been shown to be incredibly beneficial for young people, both internationally and in the UK. We hope that a network of them will go some way to ensuring that young people can access early support.

However, they are just one part of the picture. Firstly the investment in early support hubs is in addition and separate from youth services, which also need funding. There must also be more investment in specialist NHS mental health services, as well as better support in schools.

These are all the things that we have been calling for. Early support hubs fit within the picture of what young people’s mental health support should look like in order to ensure that everyone can get support when they need it, no matter what.

Thank you for taking the time to read this information, we hope you take action and urge your MP to support the #FundTheHubs campaign.

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