After a successful 18 month pilot of a mental health service for unhoused young people, EveryYouth will be continuing to support young people’s mental health in 2024 thanks to an extraordinary grant from the Morrisons Foundation.
Why do young people facing homelessness need mental health support?
Young people experiencing homelessness are disproportionately affected by mental ill-health. Recent studies reveal that mental health issues are reported in over half people experiencing homelessness [Centrepoint]. Young people who experience homelessness are often exposed to trauma and neglect. 94% percent of homeless youth have been physically victimised; and the stress of homelessness can amplify and compound existing mental health issues.
Accessing vital mental health support can be a long process. 63% of GPs [Stem4 (2022)] reported that they feared their young patients would come to harm whilst on the two year long waiting list for mental health services. On top of this, accessing support without a fixed address can become much more challenging.
What is the Health Fund?
That’s why we piloted our Health Fund in 2022, providing young people (16-25 years old) experiencing homelessness with individually tailored counselling support. The overarching ambition of this joint initiative was to fill a critical gap in mental health care for unhoused young people, help young people cope with trauma and improve their emotional resilience.
The pilot programme which ran for 18 months, reached 473 young people and delivered over 2000 counselling sessions. The results were astounding;
- 91% of participants reported improved self-esteem,
- 93% felt better able to self-manage their mental health,
- 94% said they felt more positive about their future,
- 95% said they were more likely to engage with mental health services in the future.
What is the future of this mental health support?
This support from the Morrisons Foundation will mean EveryYouth’s Health Fund will continue to operate in England, Wales and Scotland in 2024. Specifically, the service offers up to 12 sessions of counselling support, compared to an average of 6 on the NHS, and aims to offer that support within two weeks of a referral being made, compared to average wait of 9+ months for adults referred to NHS mental health services.
Thanks to the Morrisons Foundation, EveryYouth will endeavour to offer a further 1,920 hours of counselling support to young people across the UK, reaching a third of the number of young people again in 2024.
Find out more about our Health Fund here.