Southwark Council is the first council to join Stephen Fry in backing a national mental health campaign which builds on Southwark’s success in this area.
Fund the Hubs calls on government to fund a network of early support hubs across the UK, such as The Nest in Southwark. These hubs would aim to provide young people with mental health support when problems first emerge – before they hit crisis point.
Southwark’s exciting mental health hub, The Nest, shows how effective these early support hubs can be. Of the young people accessing support through The Nest, 73 per cent feel happier, and 78 per cent feel they have an increased sense of wellbeing.
Trust plays a major role in its success – the majority of referrals to the hub come from young people themselves.
This campaign aims to expand on these hubs and bring them in across the country. It is supported by a coalition of mental health and children’s charities, including the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition, Mind, YoungMinds and The Children’s Society. They are joined by Stephen Fry, Love Island’s Dr Alex George and former Lib Dem MP Sir Norman Lamb.
Cllr Jasmine Ali, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children, Young People & Education, said: “Children and young people continue to bear the brunt of the pandemic’s devastating impact on mental health. They deserve to get support as soon as they need it, on demand, without a referral or long wait.
“We have accepted nothing less for those in our borough.
“We are incredibly proud of The Nest as a trusted early support hub. We are acting as early as possible to meet the mental health needs of all our children and young people. But our ambition and that of our fellow Fund The Hub campaigners needs to be met by consistent, long-term funding from government.”
In 2018, Southwark Clinical Commissioning Group and the council undertook a review of mental health services for children and young people aged 0-25 in Southwark. This highlighted a gap for those who need extra support for their mental health and emotional wellbeing, but do not meet the criteria for more specialist services.
The review also showed that mental ill-health was more prevalent among Southwark’s young people than the national average.
The Nest was created in response to these challenging statistics, and represents part of the council’s commitment that 100 per cent of children and young people have access to mental health support – the first council to make such a commitment.