Innovative mental health approach reduces stress by Two-Thirds

A unique new project has been met with success delivering therapy to young people aged 14-25. Heal Hub, a community-led programme offers young people the opportunity to shape their own mental health support.

This new youth and community-led therapeutic approach was delivered by Aspire4U and commissioned by the West Midlands Violence Reduction Partnership (formerly known as the West Midlands Violence Reduction Unit) with Home Office funding.

‘I wouldn’t have actually taken the step to therapy unless it wasn’t something I got the chance to do for free and try out first through Heal Hub’

Young person
A young woman smiling and looking to the right in the distance

The programme builds on a previously piloted service that provided direct access to cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to young people most at risk of engaging in, or being victims of, violence. Young people were offered free online and in person therapy.

Social Sense were tasked with conducting an independent evaluation of the project, working closely with experts at the University of Sheffield.

This creative pathway to mental health support, led to over 200 young people given mental health support over a six-month period. Leading to 2 out of 3 young people feeling less anxious and stressed after the support.

‘It was a real privilege to have this opportunity to evaluate Heal Hub and hear from the many people who have contributed to its success. We share a similar ethos with the founders when it comes to genuine coproduction and using stories and data that bring intent to measuring. We hope the evaluation captures everything that is working well – alongside setting implementable challenges that can lead to even greater levels of success.’

Gary Lovatt, Managing Director-Social Sense

This project has demonstrated how giving young people a choice of how they want to connect, who they want to talk to in terms of matching up with a counsellor and also when they want to engage, truly makes a huge difference. There has been a significant increase in young people accessing support because of this approach’

Serene Duah, Associate Project Manager (Mental Health) West Midlands Violence Reduction Unit