The UK Government has laid out its mental health recovery action plan and broken down how the £500 million announced at the Spending Review will be spent. It aims to support thousands of people with mental health problems in the wake of the pandemic.
Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, said:
“We are pleased that the UK Government has now announced greater detail about where the £500m earmarked for mental health services will be spent. It’s no understatement to say we are facing a ‘mental health pandemic’ as a nation. This is evidenced by Mind’s survey data of over 16,000 people during lockdown, increased demand for Mind’s information via our website and Infoline, other data indicating a doubling of depression, significant increases in mental health problems among young people and more people admitted to hospital in crisis. This money can’t come soon enough and should be seen as a down payment for additional investment, which will inevitably be needed to meet increased demand for mental health support.
“As we continue to deal with the effects of the pandemic and the economic recession, the true scale of the nation’s mental health is only beginning to emerge. It could be many months or even years before we fully recognise the pandemic’s toll on our collective wellbeing. That’s why we welcome the UK Government’s recovery plan, which will need to see departments working more closely than ever to deliver on its promises given the multiple social challenges we face. After all, we know factors like loneliness, unemployment, debt, education, and poor housing are taking a huge toll on people’s mental health.
“At the moment, we’re seeing a widening of existing inequalities particularly for those in insecure employment and people from racialised communities, who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Nobody should be pushed into poverty at this time, especially those whose mental health prevents them earning enough to support themselves financially. That’s why we need to see the UK Government urgently go further in some areas including maintaining a £20 uplift to Universal Credit indefinitely and extending this uplift to those needing support from older disability benefits, such as Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).”
You can read the UK Government's press release here.