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Joint letter to the Chancellor ahead of Autumn Budget

Publication date: November 7, 2017

As part of our campaign to influence the Chancellor to ring-fence the mental health budget and increase investment in mental health services UKCP, along with 11 other leaders of mental health organistions, wrote an open letter to the Chancellor urging to take immediate action to address the rising levels of mental ill-health by increasing  investment in mental health services and ring-fence the mental health budget, ahead of the Autumn Budget.

As well as being sent to the Chancellor, the Independent also published it here

Letter in full:

We, leading mental health bodies in the UK, are calling on the Government to take immediate action to address the rising levels of mental ill-health. 

The Government must increase investment in mental health services and ring-fence the mental health budget, ahead of the Autumn Budget. The focus must also be on investing upstream to prevent mental health problems from developing and escalating into crisis.

Without this action, it will not be possible to absorb the spiralling costs of services associated with providing the best care and support.

The majority of children and adults with mental health issues are unable to get the help they need – nor will they get it any time soon.

With a government target for just 25 per cent of adults with mental health issues to access talking therapies by 2020, parity of esteem remains very unlikely.  

For children the situation is not much better, the 2020 mental health access target of just 35 per cent still leaves the remaining 65 per cent locked out of services.

The Government has said repeatedly that it’s investing £1bn extra in mental health services per year, but that money falls short of what is needed, and often isn’t reaching the front line.

Freedom of Information requests have shown that over half of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) plan to reduce the proportion of their budget they spend on mental health for 2016-17.

We cannot go on with such unambitious targets, or simply accept a situation where promises of extra funding don’t actually materialise at the front line.

If the Government is actually to deliver parity of esteem, the Chancellor needs to invest in and ring-fence the mental health budget to ensure any money promised genuinely reaches those it is intended to help. The crisis is here, the crisis is now. 

Yours sincerely,

Sarah Niblock, chief executive, UK Council for Psychotherapy

Jenny Edwards CBE, CEO, Mental Health Foundation

Sarah Brennan OBE, CEO, Young Minds 

Tom Quinn, director of external affairs, B-EAT

Piers Watson, chair, OCD Action

Gary Fereday, CEO, British Psychoanalytic Council 

Dr Hadyn Williams, chief executive, British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy 

Heather Stewart, chair, Association Child Psychotherapists 

Nicola Gale, president, British Psychological Society 

Catherine Roche, chief executive, Place2Be

Vicky Parkinson, CEO, National Counselling Society

Andrew Balfour, CEO, Tavistock Relationships