£150 million for mental health services

The Department of Health and Social Care has announced £150 million for mental health services.

The money will be used to build 150 new facilities to support mental health urgent and emergency care services. Funding will be spent on more tailored emergency care and support in the community, with specialised mental health ambulances, more crisis services and improved health-based places of safety.

The funding will allow for the procurement of up to 100 mental health ambulances and 150 new projects centred on supporting the provision of mental health crisis response and urgent mental health care - this includes over 30 schemes providing crisis cafes, crisis houses and other similar safe spaces, as well as over 20 new or improved health-based places of safety which provide a safe space for people detained by the police. Programmes will also focus on preventative measures, including improvement of sanctuary spaces, to improve mental wellbeing, and community mental health facilities that will work to help people before reaching crisis point.

There will also be improvements to NHS 111 and crisis phone lines.

The announcement comes amid recent report of crisis in mental health services.

Health and social care secretary Steve Barclay said: "With the health systems facing huge challenges this winter from the rise in flu, ongoing Covid cases and the impact of the pandemic, we need to ensure people are still receiving the right specialist care.

"These dedicated facilities will ensure patients experiencing a mental health crisis receive the care they need in an appropriate way, whilst freeing up staff availability including within A&E departments.

"These schemes – along with the up to 100 new mental health ambulances – will give patients across the country greater access to high-quality, tailored support when needed the most."

NHS mental health director Claire Murdoch said: "Despite the disruption caused by the pandemic the NHS is on track to deliver its Long Term Plan commitment to boost mental health spending by £2.3 billion a year, enabling around 4.5 million adults and over 700,000 young people to access mental health services.

"As well as expanding capacity to meet record demand, the NHS is transforming mental health services to help people get more appropriate care when they contact services and this investment will see specialist mental health ambulances deployed, new crisis cafes opened, and existing facilities modernised, to deliver urgent and emergency mental health care to more people who need it.

"So as ever anybody in need of help should not hesitate in contacting the NHS so they can get the care they need."

Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay


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