The independent London newspaper

Mental health funding: too little, too late

14 December, 2018

• THE accusation is made that £70,000 is “wasted” on 999 calls to police by just five people with mental health problems. With an operating budget of over £3billion the “waste” on 999 calls is small change.

In the mid-90s I tried on a new-build estate to get 10 housing associations and the home beat officer to help people described as having “special needs”.

I wanted to avoid riot police turning up to an address to deal with a person who let their bath flow over because they were in a mental health crisis. Because of either incompetence or defending funding and fiefdoms, it never happened.

Only now does the government offer more funding for mental health when it has been underfunded for the past decade. GPs, mental health agencies, the NHS and police warned about this for years. But now it has reached breaking point. Too little, too late? As usual…



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