Although an arguably small step forward for a sector which has faced much neglect over years, the announcement of increased budgets for mental health care in England comes as welcome news to everyone involved.
The investment, dubbed a “revolution in mental health treatment”, will see the injection of just under a billion pounds into the mental health sector in a bid to dramatically improve an area which has been so poorly funded in recent years.
The government plans to provide £290 million of funding towards offering specialist before and after care for mothers of new born babies to help tackle the issue of post-natal depression which affects around 10% of mothers in the first year of their child’s birth.
Postnatal depression is very much a prevalent problem in the UK, with many women either not realising they are suffering from the condition or being reluctant to discuss the issue with friends and family.
As well as postnatal depression, there are numerous other mental health conditions which can be experienced by new mums, with as many as 20% being affected in some way or another.
These have the potential to develop into longer-lasting or even lifelong conditions which can then lead to poor health in both the mother and her baby later down the line if proper treatment is not administered.
Furthermore, waiting time targets will be implemented for the first time to improve the speed in which support can be accessed for teenagers suffering from eating disorders as well as people of all ages who are experiencing psychosis.
The remaining £650 million of budget will be separated into £250 million for the improvement of mental health services within accident and emergency departments and £400 million to bolster the treatment available in community facilities.
£247 million will be used to improve the level of care available in emergency departments by ensuring there is around the clock availability of specialist mental health staff in a minimum of 50% of hospitals which provide treatment for acute illnesses.
As well as targeting the care provided within NHS facilities themselves, the government is also looking to enhance the services provided by crisis home resolution teams who work to help people in need before they enter into hospital.
These teams not only help to increase the speed in which people can gain access to treatment but, consequently, also assist in improving hospital waiting times and facilitate early discharge for existing patients.
Whilst the government’s plans do not cover every issue within the world of mental health, it is reassuring to see them finally placing a larger emphasis on the sector with definite targeting of some severe problems.
If implemented correctly, this funding could make a considerable difference to the state of mental health care, however, it will take substantial reform to remove the inequality between physical and mental health which is still present in the modern day.
Encompass provide a wide range of care services designed to improve the wellbeing of people living with either an enduring mental health condition or learning disability.
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