BACP welcomed the announcement in today’s Budget of a £2bn increase in mental health funding but said more must be done if the Government is seriously committed to achieving parity of esteem with physical health.
The funding was announced today by Philip Hammond in his final Budget before Brexit.
The extra cash forms the first part of the major NHS funding boost promised by Theresa May earlier this year, and will be used to increase the level of mental health support in every major accident and emergency department in Britain and to provide children and young people’s crisis teams in every part of the country.
The Chancellor told the Commons that the money would also be used to fund more mental health ambulances, more safe havens in the community and a 24-hour mental health crisis hotline.
Martin Bell, BACP deputy head of policy and public affairs, said: “This is investment that should be welcomed and is an important first step.
“However, it falls short of the ambitious and bold funding that is needed to deliver the genuine parity of esteem that BACP and other organisations have called for.
“This funding is focused on crisis care but we think there also needs to be additional investment for increased access to psychological therapies so that people can get help earlier, reducing the chances of people needing help in an emergency.”
BACP last week joined 14 other organisations with an interest in mental health in signing an open letter to the Prime Minister.
It was signed on behalf of BACP by Chair Dr Andrew Reeves and sets out the extra Government spending required to bring about parity of esteem for mental health.