Our 7in10 Appeal launched to ensure children get the treatment they need as early as possible and as World Mental Health Day 2022 approaches, and the opening of our new Mental health unit is upon us, we look back at why we undertook this journey, just two years ago.

In 2020 BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing head judge Shirley Ballas helped us to launch a major fundraising drive to transform the way mental health services are delivered to children and young people.

Highlighting that 7 out of  10 children and young people who experience a mental health condition in the UK  have not had appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age, Shirley backed Alder Hey Children’s Charity’s ‘7 in 10 Children’s Mental Health Appeal’. The Appeal aimed to raise vital funds to enhance inpatient and Community mental health services at Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, enabling more children to access the treatment they need at the time they need it.

Long term supporter of Alder Hey Children’s Charity, Shirley Ballas was keen to back the campaign and become the Appeal Ambassador: “Alder Hey means so much to me; it’s a world class place and the work they do there is inspiring and pioneering. To be asked to be part of the new £3m ‘7 in 10 Children’s Mental Health Appeal’ is an honour.”

“I know from my own personal experience how important this work is. There is a very real need for children to have access to appropriate care and treatment as soon as possible. This Appeal is a chance for everyone to help shape the future of mental healthcare for children and young people across the whole country.”


As part of wider plans to create a unique dedicated children’s and young people’s healthcare campus, the new development, which will be opening it's doors this autumn, includes a new mental health outpatient facilities and a brand new twelve bed specialist inpatient mental health Unit, Sunflower House, alongside other cross dependent community health services.

Located right next door to our state-of-the art specialist hospital, surrounded by our award winning Chelsea Flower Show garden and within a modern, child-friendly building, the enhanced provision of mental health services will increase current available inpatient bed capacity and enable more children and young people to be seen and treated quickly by experienced, specialist clinicians.

Patients and their families will be able to receive rapid and early access to co-ordinated multi-disciplinary care, benefitting from the most up to date assessment and diagnosis facilities. The development enables Alder Hey’s community services to link more closely with its specialist hospital services, enhancing care for children with long term conditions such as neurology, cardiology and infectious diseases.

The ‘7in10 Children’s Mental Health Appeal’ is very close to having raised the  £3m required to ensure that the building itself is designed to the highest standards, creating the best possible child friendly environment for our young patients.

As one of the leading children’s hospitals in the country, Alder Hey offers specialist services to support children and young people up to the age of 18 who are experiencing mental health difficulties including: anxiety, depression, eating disorders, self-harm, emotional and behavioural difficulties, obsessive and compulsive behaviour and post traumatic stress disorder. The Trust also has one of only six paediatric inpatient mental health treatment centres across England, providing residential care and support to young people aged 5 to 13 years old who present with the most complex and enduring mental health conditions that cannot be safely managed at home. Many of these children have to travel hundreds of miles from across the country and some stay in the Unit for several months.


World Mental Health Day - October 10th 2022

Our newly finished unit was visited by Charity Champion and Radio 1 DJ Katie Thistelton who toured both the Catkin Building and Sunflower House ahead of World Mental Health Day on 10th October 2022. Raising awareness of mental health conditions and young people's mental health is especially important to Katie and she dedicates many of her Sunday Radio 1 shows, Life Hacks, to discussions on topics to empower young people to talk about how they feel.

See and hear more from Kate on BBC Bitesize here

Our new unit is due to open this autumn.

World Mental Health Day is a chance to talk about mental health in general, how we need to look after it, and how important it is to talk about things and get help if you are struggling. You can find more information about our services on the links below.


Talking Therapies

Eating Disorders

Clinical Health Psychology


It's not too late to make a donation to our Appeal -  click here.


*Mental Health Foundation

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