Mental health organisations ‘extremely disappointed’ in Budget funding

Charities and groups say there has been a 'large' real terms cut after mental health funding was frozen at £290.2m in the Budget.

Mental health organisations ‘extremely disappointed’ in Budget funding Getty Images

Organisations from across Scotland’s mental health sector say they are “extremely disappointed” at the funding provided in the Budget.

The Scottish Mental Health Partnership (SMHP), made up of 17 charities and groups which are independent from Government, said there has been a “large” cut in real terms.

Tuesday’s Scottish Budget froze mental health funding at £290.2m within the Government’s health portfolio, a figure identical to the previous two years.

A statement agreed by the SMHP said it is “extremely disappointed” there has been no increase in funding.

It added: “With an ambitious mental health and wellbeing strategy now agreed, SMHP was anticipating new investment to deliver moves towards prevention and community base supports.”

Lee Knifton, chairman of the SMHP, said: “This is a missed opportunity for mental health.

“There is no indication that the Scottish Government will meet its own target of increasing mental health spend to 10% of the NHS budget, no increase to the mental health directorate budget for the second successive year, meaning a large cut in real terms, and no new investment for preventative work.

“We are keen to begin working with Government to deliver on the new strategy but had expected to see mental health as a priority for new investment. Instead, we see further cuts to a system that is already overstretched.”

Mental wellbeing minister Maree Todd said: “We are providing £14.2bn for NHS boards to support services, providing an uplift exceeding block grant consequentials from the UK Government and meaning that resource funding for health and social care has more than doubled since 2006-07.

“In the face of UK Government austerity, this includes an increase of almost £550m (4.3%) for NHS frontline boards – a real-terms increase of almost 3%.

“More than £1.3bn will support mental health services, with £290.2m direct investment – more than doubled since 2020/21 – enabling record numbers of staff to provide more varied support and services to a larger number of people than ever before.”

The SMHP includes charities like Samaritans, SAMH and Penumbra, as well as the British Psychological Society and the Royal College of GPs.

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code