22 May 2024

YMCA, in its latest report, has issued an urgent call on the escalating mental health crisis among children and young people.
The report underscores the urgent need for enhanced interventions and advocates for increased NHS investment, reduced waiting times, and a national network of early support hubs to ensure timely access to mental health services in communities and schools.

Key statistics reveal that in 2023, one in five young people aged 8 to 25 had a probable mental disorder, with the COVID-19 pandemic and the cost of living crisis exacerbating these issues. To address these challenges, YMCA proposes:

Increased funding for NHS mental health services to reduce waiting times.

Establishing community-based early support hubs.

Investing in community sports facilities to promote wellbeing.

Ensuring universal access to youth services for building resilience and emotional management.

YMCA’s initiatives across England and Wales are making a significant impact, supporting over 110,000 young people annually. These initiatives, which include school-based counselling and open-access youth services, have proven to be effective mental health interventions. The success of these programs underscores the importance of the recommendations YMCA is advocating for the next Government to adopt.

Enhanced mental health support can mitigate school suspensions and exclusions, help young people develop essential life skills, and reduce loneliness. YMCA’s supported housing and school-based counselling provide crucial assistance to vulnerable youth, including those in care.

YMCA urges the Government to implement these recommendations to build a robust mental health support system, improving the wellbeing of young people across England and Wales.


Read the full report here – https://yhub.org.uk/brand-centre-file/Campaigns/Manifesto/Wellbeing/Report%20&%20Publications/ymca-wellbeing-report-2024.pdf