LGA Briefing Opposition day debate on mental health, House of Commons, 13 November 2018

Despite rising demand, mental health services have been reduced for many years at all levels. We therefore fully support the Government’s aim of ensuring parity of esteem between mental and physical health.


Key Messages

  • Despite rising demand, mental health services have been reduced for many years at all levels. We therefore fully support the Government’s aim of ensuring parity of esteem between mental and physical health. To achieve this, significant investment in mental health services is needed, with a focus on early intervention and support for recovery through integrated community based services.
  • Improving and maintaining good mental health for residents is a key priority for councils. Poor mental health can affect any of us at any stage of our lives. Intervening early to help prevent issues from escalating can dramatically improve an individual’s life chances and save money in the longer term. Councils therefore support the Government’s recently announced prevention vision.
  • We welcome the provision of funding for mental health in the Chancellor’s Budget which we understand is part of the £20.5 billion announced as part of the NHS funding deal. If prioritised for mental health, it will ensure that people experiencing a mental health crisis can access timely, effective and integrated services.
  • Councils are key to the mental wellbeing of our communities and it is important that the Government provides a long term commitment to invest in local government to help address and prevent mental illness. Councils face a £7.8 billion overall shortfall by 2025. A range of services that contribute to the wider determinants of mental health are currently underfunded, these include housing, leisure, green spaces, and culture. This makes it more difficult to promote mental wellness within communities.
  • Increased investment in children and young people’s mental health services is urgently needed. In particular, local areas need to receive the full £1.7 billion of funding promised for the implementation of Future in Mind and the reforms stated in the Government’s green paper Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health Provision.
  • The LGA’s Bright Futures campaign highlights the early intervention and prevention work that councils across the country are doing to support our children and young people.
  • We welcome the new ministerial responsibility for suicide prevention. Councils take their responsibility to prevent suicide seriously. As part of their work with health partners and the voluntary and community sectors, all councils in England now have a local suicide prevention strategy prepared or in development.

 Read the full LGA Briefing Opposition day debate on mental health, House of Commons, 13 November 2018