Extra funding for early support hubs

Thousands of children and young people will benefit from expanded mental health hubs as the government will offer more funding for local communities

  • Extra funding for early support hubs to help children and young people receive better mental health support across the country
  • 24 hubs will receive a share of almost £8 million to help young people get support with their mental health at an earlier stage
  • Services include psychological therapies, specialist advice and wider issues which may affect a young person’s mental health, including sexual health, exam worries, jobs, drugs, alcohol and financial worries

Thousands of children and young people will receive earlier, easy access mental health interventions at 24 hubs in local communities.  

The drop-in centres offer mental health support and advice to young people without a referral by a doctor or school. Services provided include group work, counselling, psychological therapies, specialist advice and signposting to information and other services. 

The government announced in October 2023 that £4.92 million would be available for 10 early support hubs. It is now providing an additional £3 million to expand the number of hubs to 24 across the country - ranging from Exeter to Liverpool.

The £8 million overall package will improve access for children and young people to vital mental health support, offering early interventions to improve wellbeing before their condition escalates further, which will also reduce pressure on NHS services. 

Mental Health Minister Maria Caulfield said: 

"This government is taking the long term decisions needed to make our healthcare system faster, simpler and fairer. Mental health support for our young people is a key part of that. 

"No child or young person should suffer alone, and this additional funding for 24 mental health hubs will improve access and bring in more staff and experts who can help those who need it the most.  

"This will build on the brilliant work they already do, and supports our ongoing work to make sure every person has access the highest quality mental health services."

The hubs are open to those aged 11 to 25, and are available for anyone who may not meet the threshold to receive NHS support. Youngsters going through the trauma of worry, anxiety or stress will have a physical space to go to when their problems first emerge.  

A network of around 70 early support hubs currently exist across the country. They are run by a range of local services including volunteer organisations, NHS trusts and local authorities.  

They aim to offer advice on wider issues which may affect a young person’s mental health, including sexual health, exam worries, jobs, drugs, alcohol and financial worries.  

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

"The UK government’s additional funding, which now covers 24 existing early support hubs, will mean more young people can access early mental health support and advice in their community. 

"The funding recognises the vital role that these hubs can play in easing the huge pressure services are under and provide much needed early mental health support for young people. 

"Thousands of young people and experts are still fighting hard to fund the hubs. These spaces mean young people can get support for their mental health as soon as they need it. We welcome this step forward and hope that a sustainably funded full national rollout will soon follow, so every young person can benefit from mental health support in their local community."

Progress is being made to support more children and young people with their mental health, regardless of background or location, with investment in NHS mental health services continuing to increase each year from almost £11 billion in the 2015 to 2016 financial year, to almost £16 billion in 2022 to 2023. 

An additional £2.3 billion of funding a year by March 2024 is being used to expand and transform services, so an extra 2 million people can get mental health support. This includes an extra 345,000 children and young people who will be able to access NHS-funded mental health support.  

Support in school is also important, which is why the government is continuing to roll out mental health support teams to schools and colleges in England. There are currently around 400 mental health support teams in place across England, covering over 3 million children or around 35% of pupils in schools and colleges, and we’re extending coverage to at least 50% of pupils in England by the end of March 2025.

Department of Health and Social Care
Maria Caulfield MP