North East Councils Spend 1% On Mental Health

8 December 2016, 06:00

A charity's criticising North East councils for spending 0.8% of their health budget on mental health services.

Mind received data from 10 out of 11 local authorities in the region, with an average spend of £137,000 a year.

The total amount spent by councils across the North East is £17.7m

Away from the North East, 13 councils have been found to spend nothing on mental health services.

Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind, said:
"Our research shows that the current spend on public mental health initiatives is negligible."

"This can't continue. Prevention is always better than cure and ignoring the problem simply doesn't make sense." 

"Investment could stop people who aren't unwell developing mental health problems in the future."

"It is not acceptable that such a small amount of the public health purse goes on preventing mental health problems.

"It undermines the Government's commitment to giving mental health equality with physical health."

"One in four people will experience a mental health problem every year, yet so much of this could be prevented by targeted programmes aimed at groups we know to be at risk, such as pregnant women, people who are isolated, people from BAME and rural communities or those living with a long term physical health problem."

"Having a mental health problem can impact on all aspects of our lives, from our relationships and work to our physical health."

The personal costs are immeasurable, and the wider economic cost is huge."

"We need local authorities to use their budgets to help people in their communities stay mentally healthy and reduce the chances of them becoming unwell."

The charity says the North East's average spend of 0.8% is similar to the national average.