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Patients suffering from mental health issues will benefit from expanded mental health services backed by £500 million as part of the government’s Mental Health Recovery Action Plan.
The plan aims to respond to the impact of the pandemic on the mental health of the public, specifically targeting groups which have been most impacted including those with severe mental illness, young people, and frontline staff.
Under the plan, NHS talking therapies (IAPT services) which offer confidential treatment of conditions such as anxiety, depression and PTSD will expand, supporting 1.6 million people to access services in 2021/22, backed by an additional £38 million. Additional therapists will also be trained to support those with more complex mental health needs as a result of the pandemic.
People living with severe mental illness will also benefit from enhanced mental services in the community, backed by £58 million for better, joined up support between primary and secondary care, including specialist mental health staff embedded in primary care.
One-off initiatives will receive funding to tackle the impact of coronavirus on mental health and learning disability and autism services and to support groups who have disproportionately been affected by the pandemic.
Funding will also be used to help level up mental health and wellbeing across the country in the most deprived local authority areas in England, supporting prevention activities like debt advice, carers support, outreach to people facing loneliness and isolation, youth projects and community groups. Eligible local authorities will receive around £500,000 each.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Our Recovery Action Plan, backed by £500 million of funding will accelerate the expansion of mental health services and provide people with the support they need. As part of our response to this global pandemic we not only want to tackle the public health threat of coronavirus but ensure our clinicians have the resources to deal with the impact on people’s mental health.”
All government departments are committing to promote Public Health England’s Psychological First Aid training to their workers and volunteers to develop their skills and confidence in providing support to those affected by coronavirus.
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