Twelve mental health bodies have written an open letter to The Independent asking ministers to address the crisis facing mental health services in the UK.
The letter addressed to The Independent stated that if budgets for mental health services are not increased or ringfenced then people will remain 'locked out of vital services'.
They want November's budget to mark a “critical moment” for ministers by ring-fencing vital budgets.
They stated: "The amount the government currently plans to spend is not enough to maintain standards of care and meet the rising demand for health services. 2018/19 will be a crunch year for the NHS with funding growth slowing to just 0.4 per cent, the lowest rate of growth of this parliament and one of the lowest in NHS history."
The letter to The Independent states in full:
We, leading mental health bodies in the UK, are calling on the government to take immediate action to address the rising levels of mental ill-health.
The Government must increase investment in mental health services and ring-fence the mental health budget, ahead of the Autumn Budget. The focus must also be on investing upstream to prevent mental health problems from developing and escalating into crisis.
Without this action, it will not be possible to absorb the spiralling costs of services associated with providing the best care and support.
The majority of children and adults with mental health issues are unable to get the help they need – nor will they get it any time soon.
With a government target for just 25 per cent of adults with mental health issues to access talking therapies by 2020, parity of esteem remains very unlikely.
For children the situation is not much better, the 2020 mental health access target of just 35 per cent still leaves the remaining 65 per cent locked out of services.
The Government has said repeatedly that it’s investing £1bn extra in mental health services per year, but that money falls short of what is needed, and often isn’t reaching the front line.
Freedom of Information requests have shown that over half of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) plan to reduce the proportion of their budget they spend on mental health for 2016-17.
We cannot go on with such unambitious targets, or simply accept a situation where promises of extra funding don’t actually materialise at the front line.
If the Government is actually to deliver parity of esteem, the Chancellor needs to invest in and ring-fence the mental health budget to ensure any money promised genuinely reaches those it is intended to help. The crisis is here, the crisis is now.
Sarah Niblock, chief executive, UK Council for Psychotherapy
Jenny Edwards CBE, CEO, Mental Health Foundation
Sarah Brennan OBE, CEO, Young Minds
Tom Quinn, director of external affairs, B-EAT
Piers Watson, chair, OCD Action
Gary Fereday, CEO, British Psychoanalytic Council
Dr Hadyn Williams, chief executive, British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
Heather Stewart, chair, Association Child Psychotherapists
Nicola Gale, president, British Psychological Society
Catherine Roche, chief executive, Place2Be
Vicky Parkinson, CEO, National Counselling Society
Andrew Balfour, CEO, Tavistock Relationships