Andrew Hirst of the East Anglian Daily Times reports:
Campaigners in Suffolk have labelled the county’s spend on preventing mental health problems as “shameful” and have issued an appeal for greater investment.
The call has come after new figures from the charity Mind revealed local authorities in England spent an average of just 1% of their public health budgets on mental health.
In Suffolk, however, the county council allocated just £35,000 to mental health promotion in 2014/15 – 0.13% of the total £26.3 million public health budget.
Although the actual spend more than doubled to £73,911, after being “re-prioritised” over the course of the year, that accounted for 0.28% of the total public health budget. This year’s budget for mental health promotion stands at £53,000.
The Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk, however, said the amount spent was “shameful”.
“This pitiful level of expenditure ignores the evidence of the economic, social and personal costs of mental illness and the effectiveness of prevention rather treatment,” a spokesman added.
“Inadequate investment in mental health services and social care, combined with spending three times less than the national average on public mental health, makes it inevitable that the NHS in Suffolk cannot meet the growing demands placed upon it as budgets are cut.”
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