YoungMinds to lead voluntary sector partnership to improve mental health support

The Department for Education's two-year programme hopes to boost the voluntary sector's ability to provide mental health support for children

YoungMinds works with young people
YoungMinds works with young people

The Department for Education has chosen YoungMinds to lead a new £3m programme to increase the voluntary sector’s capacity to provide mental health support for children.

The young people’s mental health charity heads a newly-formed partnership of charities and training providers delivering the two-year project.

The consortium will provide training and guidance materials to help voluntary organisations bid for early intervention services for children with mental health needs.

It will also establish a database of charities providing early intervention mental health support services for commissioners, and organise regional roadshows this autumn promoting the most effective interventions.

The partnership, which also includes Youth Access, The Place2Be, the Afiya Trust, FPM, and the Mental Health Foundation, has been called the Bond Consortium (Better Outcomes, New Delivery).

The consortium will consult 2,000 schools, 500 voluntary sector organisations and 100 commissioning NHS organisations and local authorities to identify barriers to good practice in early intervention.

A DfE document sent to potential bidders, which sets out the background to the grant, highlights the emphasis on early intervention among young people in the government’s mental health strategy, No Health Without Mental Health.

This policy, combined with the government’s commitment to increase the role of the voluntary sector in delivering public services, led to the grant, the DfE document said.

Sarah Brennan, chief executive of YoungMinds, said: "The voluntary and community sector has a significant role to play. It offers timely, flexible services that are responsive to need and are often more easily accessible than statutory services.

"The government has recognised in creating this opportunity that the voluntary and community sector needs help to develop its capacity without excessive burden or cost, and to increase the confidence of all commissioners to invest sustainable funding in the sector."

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