Mental health is an area of public service that needs a lot of improvement. It’s been underfunded and overlooked for far too long and there are a lot of people struggling to access the services they need.
We have started to take small steps forward and it was encouraging to hear the Government announce additional funding.
They have promised £1.4 billion over five years to deliver the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health and £1.25 billion for the Future In Mind programme for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.
We need much more long-term investment into mental health, but it is very concerning that even this extra funding may not reach the people who desperately need it.
Over half of Clinical Commissioning Groups – the bodies that decide how NHS money is spent locally - say they plan to reduce the proportion of their budget spend on mental health.
Ahead of the budget my colleague, Luciana Berger MP, has launched a national campaign calling for mental health spending to be ring-fenced. You can sign a petition in support at https://you.38degrees.org.uk/p/mentalhealthmatters
The Government must ensure money promised to mental health services actually reaches the front line.