Rhiannon Hedge, Senior Policy and Campaigns Officer at Mind Cymru, said:
“We are really pleased with the draft budget proposal to ring fence an extra £20 million for mental health services in Wales. Mental health is an area that has been historically under-funded, and in the run-up to May’s Assembly election we called for parties to commit to increasing the level of funding for mental health services by at least 2 per cent in real terms each year for the next five years.
“One in four of us in Wales will be affected by mental ill health at some point and this extra money will help some of the most vulnerable people in our communities. The financial incentive for increased funding is clear; not having speedy access to the right treatment often results in the deterioration of peoples’ mental health, requiring more costly support needs further down the line.
“With mental health problems costing the Welsh economy £7.2 billion each year, we can’t afford not to invest more in prevention and treatment to ensure everybody living with a mental health problem in Wales gets the support they deserve.
“Much more needs to be done in coming years across all government sectors, and we know from our own research that provision in many areas of mental health is extremely patchy, such as access to talking therapies and support for those in a mental health crisis.
“We welcome today’s spending commitment, and will continue to campaign until the level of mental health spend in Wales matches the needs of the population.”Mental health services