Monday 11 November 2019 / 6:42 PM Cat Smith / Mental Health / Youth

Mental health services are at breaking point – Cat Smith

Cat Smith, Labour’s Shadow Youth Affairs Minister, responding to the Annual Bullying Survey, which shows a fifth of young people in UK have been victims in the past year, said:

“This report is extremely worrying but sadly unsurprising when over the last decade, support services for young people has been ripped out of their communities.

“Mental health services are at breaking point, thousands of youth workers have lost their jobs, and teachers are completely overstretched, which means young people experiencing bullying do not have someone they can talk to in their hour of need.

“The next Labour government will invest in young people and take radical steps to ensure that every young person has the support they need to fulfil their potential and feel secure in their future.”


Notes to editors

  • Bullying: Fifth of young people in UK have been victims in past year – report


Total Services for Young People (£000s)
2010-11 2019-20
1,184,122 375,125
Total Services for Young People (£000s)
2010-11 1,184,122
2010-11 in 2019-20 prices 1,383,983
2019-20 375,125
real-terms change -1,008,858
% change -73


  • 750 youth centres have closed their doors

In England at least 750 youth centres have closed since 2012.


  • 14,500 youth and community work jobs have been lost

In England, 14,500 youth and community workers have lost their jobs since 2008 (58% reduction).

Full Time Part Time Full Time Equivalent Total
2008 5,011 20,056 9,923 25,067
2012 5,017 12,856 8,162 17,882
2013 4,661 11,934 5,100 16,595
2016 2,019 8,115 4,436 10,624
2008-2016 – 2,992 – 11,941 – 5487 14,443
% change – 60% – 60% -55% -58%


Source: LGA Youth and Community Workers Surveys

  • Mental health – Labour will invest in early intervention by increasing the proportion of mental health budgets spent on support for children and young people and ensure that access to a counselling service is available for all children in secondary schools.
  • Youth – We will rebuild a properly funded, professional staffed national youth service and introduce a “Youth Service Guarantee”, ensuring every young person can access high quality youth work.