About Right Here

Right Here was a five-year young people’s mental health and wellbeing programme developed and managed by Paul Hamlyn Foundation and the Mental Health Foundation; it ran from 2009 to 2014.

It funded four local partnerships – in Brighton and Hove, Fermanagh, the London Borough of Newham, and Sheffield – which worked with young people aged 16–25 to co-produce and deliver a range of mental health and wellbeing activities, projects, research and opportunities. Each local partnership was led by a voluntary sector youth work organisation and supported by at least one local organisation with experience of providing mental health services.

The partnerships’ projects were intended to bring lasting benefits to the young people they worked with, the lead organisations and their partners, and to local youth mental health provision. Overall, Right Here hoped to develop detailed, evidence-based ‘models of good practice’ that would be of interest to commissioners nationwide and provide a stimulus for those wishing to commission and fund more effective youth-led mental health interventions focused on early intervention and prevention.

At a time of increasing pressure on public resources overall, and where demands for young people’s mental health services are growing, the Right Here approach presents a path to be explored by others who wish to increase the impact their work has upon young people’s mental health and wellbeing. It will also interest those in charge of funding and commissioning, who wish to make sure that local resources deliver the best possible mental health and wellbeing results for young people. Learning where, when and how to add additional resources, and where existing local resources can be developed, is a challenge at a time when young people’s mental health and wellbeing is increasingly the focus of national debate.

The following articles – co-authored by Mark Brown and Susan Blishen – focus upon the practical lessons learnt by Right Here about ways to manage, develop, evaluate and carry out youth work-led mental health projects for young people.

Right Here also contributed to two sister projects: 1) the Innovation Labs which developed a range of new digital tools to support the mental health of young people 2) Foyer Federation’s Healthy Conversations, to give young people in Foyers the chance to take part in resilience building and influencing activities.