Louise Rubin, a spokesperson for Mind, says spending is “unacceptably low” Mind said spending on preventing mental health problems was just as important as physical health – particularly for vulnerable groups.
Mind chief executive Paul Farmer said: “Mind’s findings show that while local authorities are happy to spend on preventing physical health problems, their equivalent spending on mental health is unacceptably low. “Local authorities need much clearer guidance and support on how best to tackle mental health problems. “We want the next government to introduce a national strategy to ensure local authorities know what to do and use their budgets to prevent mental health problems developing.”
During NHS reforms in April 2013, the responsibility for this moved from primary care trusts to local government. Of the 152 local authorities in England, 86 replied to Mind’s freedom of information requests about public mental health budgets. According to the charity, local authorities plan to spend £76m on increasing physical activity, £160m on anti-smoking initiatives and £671m on sexual health services in 2014/15. This compares with just £40m on public mental health.
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