Councils have been urged to improve mental health services after new figures revealed only 1% of public health budgets on average are spent on mental health.
A freedom of information request, conducted by charity Mind, showed that most local authorities spend ‘close to nothing’ on preventing mental health problems, with some areas spending nothing at all on this area.
The charity also said many local authorities were ‘confused’ about how their local public health teams can prevent people from becoming mentally unwell.
It is calling on the Government to give mental health its own category on the reporting of public health spending, rather than being grouped under ‘miscellaneous’ with 14 other areas.
Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind, said: ‘Our research shows that the current spend on public mental health initiatives is negligible. The fact that local authorities’ public health teams are allowed to file mental health under ‘Miscellaneous’ when reporting on it perhaps explains why. It sends a message that mental health is not seen as important and not a priority for investment.
‘It is not acceptable that such a small amount of the public health purse goes on preventing mental health problems’
Mind has launched a new guide on what local authorities could be commissioning to improve the mental health of their communities.