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Government must invest £1.25bn in mental health, leading organisations say

Six of England's leading mental health organisations have joined forces to produce a plan on necessary government action to improve mental health in the UK. 

Improving England's Mental Health: The First 100 Days and Beyond, published today, calls on the government to invest £1.25bn on mental health services for children and new mothers.

The chancellor, George Osborne, originally made this commitment in the budget in March but the organisations are calling for it to be restated, and other actions to be introduced.

In a joint statement, the leaders of Mental Health, the Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Network, Mind, Rethink Mental Illness and the Royal College of Psychiatrists said: “The Queen's speech this week set out the government's intention to improve access to mental health services over the next five years.”

“This is very much welcome. These first 100 days represent a valuable opportunity for the government to meaningfully demonstrate its commitment to improving the lives of people with mental health problems,” they said.

Currently only 25% of adults with depression and anxiety get treatment and demand is increasing, with referrals to community mental health teams having risen nearly 20% over the past five years.

Poor mental health carries an economic and social cost of £105 billion annually in England and business loses £26 billion due to mental ill health every year.

The plan also calls for government to commit to improving physical health care for people with mental health problems, to improve their quality of life and access to employment, as well as enabling better access to mental health services generally.