£500 million mental health funding expected

As part of the upcoming Spending Review, Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to announced a £500 million package to support mental health services.

According to the Treasury, most of the funds will be allocated to specialist services for young people, including in schools and support for NHS workers.

The funding will be welcome news for mental health charities and providers across the country, many of whom have been calling on the government to make additional investments into community mental health services in anticipation of the second coronavirus lockdown.

Sunak is expected to pledge for rapid progress to be made in tackling the backlog of adult mental health referrals. The government estimates that poor mental health costs the economy up to £35 billion per year, and hopes the package will address the increased demand for services as the pandemic continues to impact people’s lives.

A recent study showed that one in five patients with coronavirus were diagnosed with a mental illness for the first time within three months of contracting the virus, suggesting that coronavirus survivors could be at a higher risk of developing psychiatric disorders.

In total, Sunak is expected to announce an extra £3 billion for the NHS - but has warned that people will soon see an ‘economic shock laid bare’ as the country deals with the coronavirus pandemic.

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