Budget 2018: Solent Mind CEO welcomes new mental health crisis service – but says prevention is key

A NEW mental health crisis service has been announced by the government in its Budget.

Chancellor Philip Hammond said a ten-year plan for the NHS will be released ‘shortly’ and an extra £2bn in cash will pay for the provision of ‘comprehensive’ mental health support in every major NHS A&E department.

The CEO of mental health Charity Solent Mind has welcomed this news but said as well as the emphasis being put on those experiencing crisis, investments need to be made in community-based, early intervention services – to avoid people reaching crisis point in the first place.

Kevin Gardner has been CEO of the charity for 18 months and said: ‘Clearly we welcome any investment into mental health services, there has been under investment in the NHS for decades.

‘But it’s important there is transparency in how promises for additional funding will translate through to additional services and resources on the front line for people who need them.

‘It’s not just about crisis services, if we don’t address the up-stream causes of what puts people into crisis in the first place, we’re only addressing half of the problem.

‘It’s vital discussions take place about how to use this funding, and I hope charities and those with what we call lived experience of mental health issues are engaged with.’

‘I can say as CEO of Solent Mind I am happy to be a part of the discussion about how to do this locally, across the Solent.’