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Mind Calls for More Spending on Public Mental Health

October 30, 2014
Public Health

brainA report by Mind has called for more spending on public mental health after the charity revealed that currently only 1.4% of local authority budgets had been spent in this area.

The research included 86 of the 152 local authorities in England who assumed responsibility for public mental health in 2013.

Mind Chief Executive Paul Farmer told the BBC website, “The findings show that while local authorities are happy to spend on preventing physical health problems, their equivalent spending on mental health is unacceptably low. Local authorities need much clearer guidance and support on how best to tackle mental health problems. We want the next government to introduce a national strategy to ensure local authorities know what to do and use their budgets to prevent mental health problems developing.”

Figures for 2014-15 indicate that local authorities have allocated less than £40million to mental health while budgeting for £108 million on obesity, £160 million on smoking and £671 million on sexual health. Six of the councils questioned had no specific spending plan for public mental health.

The report has been welcomed by Public Health England, who have called for more investment at local level. Mental health problems are estimated to cost £100 billion each year in lost working days, benefits, lost tax revenue and the costs of treatments, accounting for 23% of the total burden of disease in the UK.

Read more from Mind here.