As George Osborne unveils his 2015 budget this week, we ask how does Mental Health Services and specifically Talking Therapies feature? and what investment can we expect from the government for our nations mental health?
Initially it appears the budget is good news for psychological therapies! Every part of the country has been promised talking therapists, with the Government committing £118m by 2018-19 to roll out a psychological therapies programme. The government has highlighted 4 specific groups of people who will benefit from this investment:
- Children and young people with additional funding being allocated to eating disorders in young people.
- Women who experience mental illness both prior and post to the birth of their child
- Jobcentre claimants with mental health conditions who will be helped through online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, access to therapists, and Fit for Work being implemented through jobcentres
- Help for vulnerable veterans who have served their country and now need support from the NHS mental health services.
The government’s choice of where they are allocating the resources reflects the diversity of people affected by mental health problems, which is great news. However, we do question how the investment will serve the many adults who do not fit into these distinct categories such as the those who remain in work, have not started a family, or have never served in the military. Once again has the ‘average Joe’ been missed? People can need treatment at any point in their lives and will benefit from a choice and variety of therapies.
Responding to the Budget, our Director Jenny Collard says “it’s promising to hear the need for talking therapies being highlighted in the budget this week and to see the government take therapy seriously. I also hope this may be a step towards statutory regulation of the Counselling & Psychotherapy profession in the future. If the government wants to support provision of services it should regulate them too“