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Mental health 'under treated'

18th June 2012

Leading mental health experts have warned that a significant number of people with depression or anxiety are not receiving treatment for their condition.

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The findings comes from the Mental Health Policy Group from the London School of Economics, which is head by economist Professor Lord Richard Layard and includes some of the country’s most eminent mental health experts.

They have described their findings that up to 75% of the six million people with the condition are not receiving treatment as a scandal and were concerned services were being cut.

Data contained in their report found that among people younger than 65, about half of ill-health was related to mental illness, but much of it went untreated because NHS managers failed to properly commission mental health services.

They also found that the £400m provided by the government for psychological therapy was not always used for its intended purpose.

Lord Layard said that mental health was so central to the health of individuals and of society that it warranted having its own cabinet minister.

He added: “If local NHS commissioners want to improve their budgets, they should all be expanding their provision of psychological therapy. It will save them so much on their physical healthcare budgets that the net cost will be little or nothing.”

Care Services Minister Paul Burstow said investment in mental health services was “already delivering remarkable results.”

“Mental ill-health costs £105bn per year and I have always been clear that it should be treated as seriously as physical health problems,” he said.

 

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