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Monday 24th October 2016

Investment in mental health essential as recession bites

13th March 2009

Mind today welcomes the Government’s commitment to invest £93m in mental health services to prepare for the human cost of the recession.  

Mind's Chief Executive Paul Farmer said:

“There has never been a more important time to invest in mental health. The recession is not just affecting people's bank balances; it is having a huge human cost too. Redundancy and money worries put strain on family relationships, cause sleepless nights, trigger stress and increase the risk of developing depression. When it comes to the scale of the current recession we are in uncharted territory about how many people could be affected and the impact this could have on mental health services.” 

“We welcome the package of investment announced today by the Government. A more joined up approach between healthcare professionals and employment services will mean that the warning signs of mental health problems will be detected early and people will be signposted to the help they need quickly."

“We must learn from the mistakes of past recessions where people lost their job, their confidence and their self esteem leaving them unable to return to the workforce. This time round we must ensure people are given the chance to reskill and retrain so they keep motivated and make the most of job opportunities as they arise.”

“It’s essential the £80m the Government has earmarked Primary Care Trusts to spend on debt and employment advice is adhered to. Primary Care Trusts should be encouraged to consider the role of third sector in helping to deliver these support services. Voluntary groups already have the skills to provide intensive one to one support. They are equipped to deal with, not just employment and health needs but more importantly the needs of the individual.”

Solent Mind is already providing a number of support services to people who have been made redundant or are struggling with debt problems. One of their projects involves working with the Government’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies pilot in Hampshire where therapists refer patients who have received counseling on for vocational advice.

Solent Mind’s Head of Service, Employment and Training Elizabeth White Ripley said:

Working within primary care means that we can help people when their problem originates. We can help them retain their job or prevent them from losing touch with the workplace long term. Our service helps people to maintain their self confidence. At a time when it’s difficult for people to find work it’s more important than ever for Primary Care Trusts to invest in joined up health and employment support so that people stay active, motivated and maintain good mental wellbeing.”

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