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National Homeless Advice Service

Youth Access - Youth Advice: a mental health intervention?

This publication from Youth Access provides a summary of a research study on the mental health benefits and cost-effectiveness of youth advice services.

The report is available from Youth Access.

Scope of the study

The study focused on young people attending youth advice services for social welfare advice, defined as advice to individuals on their rights in relation to everyday problems concerning housing, homelessness, welfare benefits,money/debt, employment rights, education rights, consumer rights or immigration.

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Design of the study

The study was designed to:

  • measure the mental health of young people in youth advice settings, comparing their scores on a standardised mental health instrument to a range of other groups
  • assess the impact problems have had on their lives and the associated costs of some of these impacts
  • identify what impact getting advice has had on their lives
  • quantify the cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness of advice, with particular regard to health-related benefits

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Conclusions of the research

The findings demonstrate the benefits to mental health of social welfare advice provided in young person-friendly settings and the importance of an advice model that acknowledges and responds to young people’s significant emotional and mental health needs.

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