Project information

Save the Parents Helpline - funding crisis

Parents whose children suffer from mental health problems are often isolated and distressed. Our Helpline supports over 10,000 parents a year worried about problems such as depression, anxiety or self-harm. 95% say the advice helped their child's mental health, 1 in 3 call it a lifesaver.


Charity information: YoungMinds

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  • Need


    On average 3 children in a classroom suffer from a mental health disorder such as depression, self-harm or suicidal thoughts.

    The stigma associated is huge, NHS support is as low as 0.6%, and societal pressures are increasing.

    This means more children are suffering - a 70% increase in young people admitted to hospital as a result of self-harm in 10 years - and many suffer in isolation fearful of being bullied, ridiculed or demonised.

    Many don't get the help they need.


    Informed and supportive parents can help children manage their problems and get them the help that they need at the time they need it.

    Sadly, many parents are also scared and isolated. They don't know about mental health problems, don't know where to get help, are frightened to tell anyone, even feel guilty.

    YoungMinds Parents Helpline reassures, informs, and provides coping strategies enabling children to get the help they so desperately need.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Provide free and confidential advice to over 10,000 parents to support improved mental health.


    » Frontline email and telephone advice from trained advisors resulting in reduced stigma, better understanding of the problem and how/where to get help.

    Monitor to ensure over 10,000 callers supported and feedback collated to determine benefit and change as a result of advice. Last year 95% said the advice was beneficial.

    Aim 2

    Provide in-depth clinical guidance to 3,500 distressed parents, even saving lives.


    » A team of mental health professionals call the parent for an in-depth clinical consultation providing detailed advice and coping strategies.

    Number of callers talking to a mental health professional and conduct feedback. Last year of 96% of callers changed behaviour with positive results, 1/3 said it was a lifesaver.

    Aim 3

    Provide online information and resources to two people a minute


    » Write and produce a range of information for parents and for young people explaining mental health problems, treatments, case studies and statistics.

    Monitor web use with Google Analytics including numbers of web visitors and amount of time spent on the pages. Conduct parent feedback groups to develop site content and design.

  • Impact


    Children and young people will have improved mental health.

    Families will be able to get better and faster access to support through the NHS and will interact better with their child's school.

    They will be able to understand the problems and improve coping strategies.

    Problems won't be ignored, they won't escalate and will less often end in crisis.

    Children will have additionally have improved academic attainment.

    User feedback will determine success.


    YoungMinds has run the Parents Helpline for nearly 21 years. Our biggest risk at the moment is lack of funding at a time when caller numbers are increasing dramatically. We urgently need to replace this funding in order to continue the service. We need to become less reliant on large sources of income and build our funding base to ensure continuity.

    Other risks are well managed including safeguarding, ensuring adequate numbers of advisors are available, and protected databases


    Donors will be sent reports on the project as well as updates on YoungMinds work in general.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £473,895

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      Amount Heading Description
      £232,065 Staffing Helpline advisors, volunteer expenses
      £113,711 Professional advisors Mental health professionals for indepth clinical consultation
      £52,227 Marketing and IT Computers, marketing, leaflets, phone, user feedback groups
      £75,892 Management and overheads Rent, management expenses

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Trusts £145,372 Guaranteed
    Companies £300 Guaranteed
    Individual donors £5,425 Guaranteed
  • Background


    London based call-centre, national reach


    Good cross section of the population. Mental health issues can affect anybody, anywhere. We ask a series of monitoring questions to ensure we reach across the population, including traditionally harder to reach groups.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    YoungMinds has over 21 years experience delivering the Parents Helpline and working as a wider organisation in the field of child and adolescent mental health. We are well respected by young people, parents, professionals and the government. We are the only national charity with the sole aim of supporting children and young people with mental health problems.

    Successful outcomes have been proved over and again through excellent user feedback and increasing call numbers every year.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Daphne Joseph

    Working on the Parents Helpline for over 11 years, Daphne started as a Helpline advisor and now manages the team to success. She is inspirational.

Claire Skinner, Save the Parents Helpline


Will pay for a family to get support

The insight and guidance helped me respond to my daughters attempted suicide just one week later.