Funding boost for children’s mental health support

Children’s charity SELFA has secured an £85,000 funding boost for children’s mental health support thanks to a new research report by Emma Pears, one of West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership’s (WY HCP) health equity fellows.

The Children and Young People’s Mental Health in Rural Craven report identified a lack of accessible mental health services in rural North Craven and highlighted the need for a new approach.

Report author and SELFA’s Chief Officer Emma Pears, said: “When my daughter was eight years old, she started to show signs of emotional distress, both at school and at home. She is 17 now and thriving. Her mental health is good because of the support she’s had over the years; but if her journey has taught me anything it is this: that children’s emotional well-being is just as important as their physical health.”

“Many children and young people who live in rural areas like the Yorkshire Dales will only be offered a mental health service if they can travel, or the alternative is to receive support over the phone or on a video call, whereas a child who lives in a town like Harrogate or Keighley will be offered a face-to-face service close to where they live.”

SELFA will use the funding to set up peer support groups for children and young people who are experiencing mental health issues as well and their parents and carers. These projects will start in early 2023.

The research is part of the partnership’s Improving Population Health Fellowship and supports the Health Inequalities Academy to build knowledge, skills and courage to build more equitable organisations and communities.

Dr Sohail Abbas, Deputy Medical Director, NHS West Yorkshire Integrated Care Board and Chair of the Health Inequalities Network, West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership said: “The aim of the health equity fellowship programme is to equip people with the skills needed to understand and address inequalities from their specific role within the system. We are fortunate to have very passionate people and this programme is harnessing the enthusiasm of people like Emma who are making a real difference in the lives of people across our communities”.

See the SELFA news pages for more information.


  • For press enquiries please email [email protected]
  • West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership (WY HCP) is a large integrated care system (ICS) that supports 2.4 million people, living in urban and rural areas. 770,000 are children and young people. 530,000 people live in areas ranked as the poorest 10% of England. 20% of people are from minority ethnic communities. There are an estimated 400,000 unpaid carers, as many don’t access support. Together we employ over 100,000 staff and work alongside thousands of volunteers.
  • The NHS West Yorkshire Integrated Care Board and the Partnership Board are part of the Partnership.
  • Come and work with us. We are recruiting to all roles across health and care in West Yorkshire, and you don’t have to be a doctor or nurse. We are recruiting for call handlers, social care support workers, nursing and residential care staff, home care colleagues and peer support workers – to name a few. You can find out more on NHS Jobs and local council websites.

© Copyright 2024 Leeds Health and Care Partnership | Lovingly crafted by Mixd