The lack of funding and support for mental health has hit the news following a recent report from the mental health taskforce, A Five Year Forward View for Mental Health.
The report reveals how mental health is being neglected, for example:
• Suicide in England is now rising “following many years of decline”, with 4,477 people killing themselves in an average year.
• There has been a 10% increase in the number of people sectioned under the Mental Health Act over the past year, suggesting the needs of the sick are not being met early enough.
• In some parts of the country, more than 10% of children seeking help are having appointments with specialists cancelled as a result of staff shortages, yet one in 10 children and young people have a diagnosable mental health problem.
• A quarter of people with severe mental health problems need more support than is currently on offer and many are at serious risk of self-neglect.
• Despite the known impact of untreated postnatal mental health problems, less than 15% of areas provide effective services for women and 40% provide no service at all. One in five women develop a mental health problem during the perinatal period.
• Figures from 2013-14 show that the average waiting time for a child seeking a routine appointment with a mental health practitioner was 21 weeks, up from 15 weeks the year before.
• The average maximum wait for a community mental health team appointment is 30 weeks and mental health wards are far busier than guidelines allow.
The report says ministers need to find an extra £1.2bn a year for mental health services by 2020. One in four adults experience at least one diagnosable mental health problem in any given year.
NECS encourages the government to do more. We and other organisations work hard to help those that require our support however we know that there are many more that are currently on waiting lists or have not been identified as needing support.