Next step is designed to support anyone who cares for children and young people. Whether you're a parent, teacher, mental health professional or commissioner of health and social care services, Next Step is a tool that helps young people to communicate on their own terms, in their own environment.

Our current Partners include:

  • NHS West Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group
  • NHS Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group
  • NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group
  • NHS Vale Royal Clinical Commissioning Group

As a value for money resource with proven clinical effectiveness, there are so many reasons for choosing Next Step:

  • 75% of all adult mental health conditions start by the age of 18.
  • Almost all individuals with mental health illnesses experience stigma and discrimination - highlighting a common lack of understanding.
  • Most long-term mental health illnesses arise during a person's teenage years, but this can be mitigated if they are identified and supported early.
  • Nationally, waiting times for child and adolescent mental health services are high, with some young people waiting years for treatment. Next Step can provide immediate and effective early intervention.

  • £117.9 billion is the yearly economic cost of mental health to the UK.
  • Funding for front line NHS and local authority services is reducing, putting significant pressure on existing services.
  • Next Step offers a substantial package of resources, support and training to empower its users providing fantastic value annually.

  • The government has pledged to strengthen the link between schools and mental health services
  • They have also committed to "parity of esteem" between how we value both mental and physical health conditions
  • More focus is to be placed on support available in the community - easing pressure on front line services

Throughout our research, young people told us that the Next Step cards gave them the opportunity to be in control of their own therapy and choose their own goals. They believed that the cards provided clarity by helping them think and articulate what was important to them. They also said that the cards helped them work with their therapist and co-create a plan to solve their difficulties.

I liked working with the cards, it helped me to talk about things. Without them I wouldn’t have known what to say.

"The cards were easy to understand and use. I didn’t know what to say at first, because I didn’t know her [the therapist].

"The cards make it easier to help someone to understand how you are feeling.

"They were easy to relate to and better than just talking. They were a good starting point and made it easier to think of what I wanted to talk about.

"They helped me, my heart and my brain. They were a great method of helping me – without having something to show how things are in my life, it gets hard."

Next step is designed to support anyone who cares for children and young people. There are currently around 1000 health, education and social care professionals licenced to use Next Step across England and Wales. This is what mental health clinicians, teachers and social workers have to say about Next Step:

"Next Step helps to provide a structure and enables me to really focus on the young person in front of me.

"It makes issues more tangible. I like the way that it breaks down goals into specific steps.

"It helped the young person to point out what was going well and what wasn’t. It helped us to focus on the positives as well as looking at the areas to build on.

"I saw one girl who refused to speak and I wouldn’t know what to have done without the cards. It’s a helpful way of engaging with young people who find it difficult to talk about things.

"Next Step has helped develop a whole school climate of resilience and self-belief. It has led to raised esteem in pupils and staff.

"It just opens up the discussion. I use them all the time so they have just become part of what I do in my session."