The Government must prioritise investment in the nation’s mental health and wellbeing in next week’s one year Spending Round, Centre for Mental Health chief economist Nick O’Shea said today.
In anticipation of the Chancellor’s speech next week Nick O’Shea said: “This Spending Round is an opportunity the Government must not miss to put our mental health first and address some of the biggest inequalities in our society.
“The Government should commit to implementing in full the Mental Health Act Review recommendation of upgrading mental health hospitals to meet modern standards of safety and dignity. It should also invest now in the mental health workforce, with a focus on nursing, social work and advocacy.
“The Spending Round should include a commitment to create a fair and lasting settlement for social care, including for people of working age. Mental health social care is a vital service that has been neglected for too long in national policy.
“The Government can also show it is serious about prevention by setting out fair funding for public health services. Successive cuts in public health spending have severely limited opportunities to improve our mental health and prevent mental illness. Yet by investing in evidence based interventions such as parenting programmes, smoking cessation for people with mental health difficulties and suicide prevention we can save lives and make all our communities healthier.
“We hope the Government will take these important steps towards mental health equality in next week’s Spending Round. The NHS Long Term Plan cannot he achieved without these necessary steps in place.”