Minister for Education and Welsh Language Jeremy Miles has announced additional funding to help more young people access support for emotional mental health and wellbeing services through youth work approaches.
An extra £2.5m will be provided to local authorities through the Youth Support Grant this financial year, to work with the voluntary sector to reach a wider range of young people, including those who are harder to reach and those with protected characteristics, who may not currently be engaged with formal education, training or work.
The funding will support youth workers to deliver early intervention and prevention services for those with low-level emotional mental health and wellbeing issues, and be available all across Wales.
Jeremy Miles said,
“The emotional mental health and wellbeing of our children and young people is an absolute priority for me, and our ‘whole school’ approach ensures this is central to the way schools work and touch on all the different aspects of school life.
“But we know the pandemic has had a significant impact on the mental health of people of all ages and youth work has a vital role in supporting young people in their schools and their communities.
“We also understand that getting the right support at the right time, in many cases, can prevent longer-term adverse effects, and that’s why we’re making access to support a priority too.
“This additional funding will make a significant difference to improve the resources and youth work services available to young people in these challenging times, and help them access the help they need, where and when they need it.”
The funding is complementary to other approaches such as the Whole School approach to mental health, which clearly identifies youth workers as part of the school `team’ and identifies the benefits of working in a partnership to support young people.