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Geoff Heyes, Policy & Campaigns Manager for the mental health charity Mind, said:
‘Mental health services are facing a crisis. Although the Government has committed to ensuring that mental health services are given equal priority to physical health services, we are still nowhere near seeing this on the ground. At a time when we need to see funding for mental health trusts increase, a cut of 2.3 per cent in real terms is unacceptable. There is absolutely no room for belt-tightening in mental health services, not least because they have always been chronically underfunded and seen as an easy target for cuts. But right now demand is rising right across the system, from talking therapies to crisis care, and services are creaking under the pressure.
‘Cutting services to make savings in the short term is short-sighted. If we don’t give people with mental health problems the support they need as early as possible, they are more likely to end up at crisis point and need much more – and more expensive – support.
‘We also know that people are really struggling at the moment. The lasting impact of the recession, unemployment, changes to the welfare system are all having an impact on the mental health of the nation and Mind has seen a huge increase in calls to our infoline over the past couple of years.
‘Clinical commissioning groups need immediately to review the state of their local mental health services and do everything in their power to ensure the resources are there to help people at their most unwell. They must prioritise mental health services, both to ensure parity of esteem with services for physical health problems and to safeguard existing services. Mind are calling on the next Government to commit to increasing the overall NHS mental health budget by a minimum of 10 per cent in real terms over five years.’
Notes to editors:
Mind is the leading mental health charity in England and Wales. We're here to make sure anyone with a mental health problem has somewhere to turn for advice and support.
For more information, interviews or case studies please contact the Mind media team on T: 020 8522 1743 M: 07850 788514 E: [email protected] ISDN line available: 020 8221 0817
Please note that Mind is not an acronym and should be set in title case.