Children and Young People’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Programme

The Children and Young People’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme (CYP-IAPT) is a change programme for existing services delivering CYP mental health care.  It aims to improve outcomes and experience of care for children, young people and their families by increasing access to effective services and evidence-based therapies through system-wide service improvements.


  • CYP-IAPT commenced in 2011 and is now working with services covering 100% of 0-19 population in 2018
  • Government-funded and centrally supported by NHS England and Health Education England up to 2018
  • From 2019, the programme becomes ‘business as usual’
  • In order to deliver the improvements in access to effective care for at least 70,000 children and young people, CCGs and provider organisations will need to continue increasing the skills of existing staff and develop a new workforce, embedding the CYP IAPT principles and ways of working across teams.

The CYP IAPT programme

  • Works with existing services that deliver mental health care for children and young people across the system (provided by NHS, Local Authority, Voluntary Sector, Youth Justice)
  • Creates within teams  a culture of full collaboration between child, young person and/or their parents or carers by embedding the following principles:

Image describes the five key principles underpinning the CYP-IAPT programme, comprising participation, to ensure children and young people, their families and carers have an active role in treatment and services, accountability, requiring data about outcomes to develop the effectiveness of services and interventions, accessibility, to improve access and engagement with services for children and young people, evidence-based practice, requiring the implementation of evidence-based therapies and care pathways, and awareness, increasing public understanding of emotional wellbeing and decreasing stigma and discrimination.Useful resources

In order to comply with the NHS standard contract, all services funded by the NHS must flow CYP MH data to the MHSDS.

Participation: NHS England commissions North East London Commissioning Support  Unit and Young Minds to support the improvement of  children, young people’s and parent/carers’ participation in treatment, service design and delivery at a national level  –YoungMinds Amplified

Mental Health Services Passport

NHS England, young people and parent/carers worked together to develop a Mental Health Services Passport template. Each passport is to be created by a young person or parent/carer (for younger children) with the support of their practitioner. The aim of the passport is to help young people using services, or parents with younger children, to own and communicate their story when moving between different services. It provides a summary of the time in the service which will be owned by the young people or parent/carer to be shared with any future services if and when they wish. The passport is recommended in Future in Mind.