Lack of funding leaves mental health patients in a vulnerable position

  • Due to financial pressures budgets for mental health support are being cut, leaving adults and children who need help vulnerable.

    In the year 2010-11 funding for adult mental health services fell in real terms for the first time in over a decade. Since then freedom of information requests have found evidence of further cuts in both adults' and children's mental health services. This has seen specialist community teams merged into generic services and support being limited to those with most urgent of needs, reports the Guardian. /images/mentalhealth.jpg

    Through its mandate from the government, the NHS is said to me committed to putting mental health on a par with physical health. Currently mental ill health accounts for a quarter of illnesses across the UK however it receives only 13% of NHS funding.

    Sean Duggan, chief executive, the Centre for Mental Health wrote in the Guardian ‘It is crucial that all mental health services, be they publicly or privately provided, are required to meet the same high standards we have of other NHS-funded hospitals and clinics. Local health and care commissioners need to assure themselves they know the needs of their local populations and that they are able to meet them using services that meet the standards of the quality regulator, the Care Quality Commission. This is especially the case for the steadily growing number of people who are detained in hospital under the Mental Health Act, whose rights and dignity must never be compromised[...]We need to keep building on the government's initiative to improve access to psychological therapies for children and young people (and their parents) to ensure that all who could benefit from proven cost-effective treatments are offered timely support from engaging and highly skilled workers. And we need to ensure that care is there in a crisis for children who are at their most vulnerable. All services that work with children and families should be vigilant for the signs of stress that lead to a crisis. And in every area of the country the NHS should have to provide suitable beds for young people who need emergency mental health care, diversion services at the point of arrest for young people who get into trouble with the police, and on-call support and advice in A&E units from liaison psychiatry teams.'

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