Mental health was a key theme raised in this year’s Big Conversation. People told me about their difficulties accessing mental health services, waiting times for treatment in excess of six months, particularly for young people, and experiences of getting lost in the transition between children’s and adults mental health services.
The Chancellor announced extra funding for mental health crisis provision in his budget. This is of course welcome. But people shouldn’t have to get to crisis point before they get proper help. The whole system needs funding properly.
A new report by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has estimated that to ensure people living with mental health conditions have an equal chance of living long and fulfilling lives as those with physical health conditions, mental health services require an increase in spending of at least 5% each year up to 2023/24 and 5.5% by 2030/31, compared to the current committed increase for the NHS of 3.4% by 2023.
I will keep pushing this point with Ministers, because the budget announcement on mental health doesn’t go anywhere near far enough. Read my speech on the budget here. You can read my report on the key theme’s coming up in this year’s Big Conversation here.