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Budget: no news is bad news for mental health

Photo of Big Ben clock tower

Publication date: March 8, 2017

Today, Chancellor Philip Hammond delivered the 2017 Spring Budget.

We are extremely concerned that the budget does not commit to any extra spending for mental health. The Government itself has highlighted the injustice of inadequate access to mental health services. This situation is impossible to address without extra money.

Chief executive Janet Weisz said:

‘This budget simply fails to address mental health.

‘Earlier this year Theresa May stated she wanted to “employ the power of government as a force for good to transform the way we deal with mental health problems right across society.” However, mental health remains appallingly underfunded.

‘While the small budget increases announced in previous years were welcome, they fall far short of what is needed. Even by the early 2020s, 75% of people with anxiety and depression will still not be able to receive therapy on the NHS.’

Last December Mind found that only 1% of the NHS budget was spent on mental health services. At UKCP, we have seen first-hand the benefits that high quality psychotherapy can have on people’s lives, and the vital contribution it makes to society as a whole. Currently, only a minority can benefit from psychotherapy on the NHS. Too many people are forced to pay privately for the help they so desperately need.

The government has already accepted that access to mental health services has huge human and economic benefits. It is time to make Theresa May’s pledge a reality.