Budget fails mental health

This week’s Budget failed to deliver for mental health. The Chancellor’s promise of more cash for the NHS was under half what the NHS says it needs and will be eaten up by increased demand this winter. In fact NHS leaders are meeting next week to discuss what is going to be cut, not what is going to be expanded.

Despite thousands backing my call for mental health spending to be ring-fenced the Chancellor failed to respond. The consequences for mental health are clear – the crisis will worsen.

At the recent Health Select Committee I asked Tory mental health minister Jackie Doyle-Price to explain why the government rhetoric of increased mental health spending was crumbling in the face of local cuts at the front-line. You can see the exchange on the video above or by clicking here.

The government had previously announced additional funding for mental health – £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.

My petition campaign highlighted once again that people trying to access mental health services – and in particular young people – are being turned away, not helped.

That is because not all the money is reaching the front-line where it is so desperately needed.

This issue will not go away. We will not have real parity between mental and physical health services until the government acts.

Thank you again to everyone who signed the ring-fence mental health spending budget petition. I can assure you that I will continue to campaign for mental health to be properly funded.