HM Treasury

Saturday 21 Nov 2020

Mental health to receive funding boost at Spending Review

  • Rishi Sunak expected to announce hundreds of millions of new funding, for mental health in 2021/22.
  • The money will further expand services across the UK in response to the impact the pandemic has had on mental health.
  • It will deliver new specialist services for children and young people, extra support for those with severe mental illness, and faster access to psychological support for depression and anxiety. 
  • Comes as government launches new Winter Plan for Mental Health

A multi million pound package of new funding to support mental health services is expected to be announced by the Chancellor at next week’s Spending Review.

In response to the impact the Coronavirus pandemic has had on mental health, Rishi Sunak will vow to make rapid progress on tackling the backlog of adult mental health referrals and ensure children and young people can access the help they need - delivering on the government’s commitment to transforming and improving mental health services.

The vast majority of the £500m package will be spent on funding for new specialist services for children and young people - including in schools, extra support for people with severe mental illness, faster access to psychological support for conditions such as depression and anxiety, and support for NHS workers. 

Mental ill health costs the economy up to £35 billion a year with demand for services increasing during the pandemic. This package responds to these extra needs. 

Local areas will also benefit from £1.2m for a new service to allow them to access real-time suicide data to better target prevention efforts, and the Spending Review recommits to government’s pledge to eradicate outdated mental health dormitories, as well as increased investment in the mental health workforce. 

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said:

 “The pandemic has had a major impact on mental health because of increased isolation and uncertainty.

 “So it is vital we do everything we can to support our mental health services and ensure help is there for people. 

 “This funding will make sure those who need help get the right support as quickly as possible so they don’t have to suffer in silence.”

Ahead of next week’s spending review, the government is also announcing a Winter Mental Health Plan, to protect mental health over the coming winter months.

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