Association of Mental Health Providers has launched a new campaign - #MHEqualityNow - on 9 March, calling for urgent action to support community mental health services, warning of ‘the perfect storm’ as new research reveals alarming insights into the demand on mental health services.
Over 8 million people are supported by mental health charities providing services - that is 1 in 8 of our population – and a survey of The Association's 300+ members has revealed:
- a 100 per cent increase in waiting times for access to specialist referral and crisis services since summer 2022.
- a 50 per cent rise in people presenting with increasing needs, particularly with anxieties related to money and housing because of the cost-of-living crisis.
There is an increase in prevalence of mental illness in society, an increase in the intensity of need, and an increase in demand for services, but the vital services delivered by mental health charities are being overlooked.
Alongside the research of its membership, The Association has also created the first ever complete picture of mental health service provision across England via an interactive map. Initial findings from the mapping have revealed our members are delivering a wide range of over 3000 mental health services locally, regionally, and nationally. This means there is a mental health charity supporting our NHS in delivering mental health services in every local area of this country.
The Association calculates more than two million people are either unable to access any mental health care and support or are needing more specialist services than those being provided.
Many of the services provided by mental health charities will often be the only support available to some of our most disadvantaged and marginalised communities including those that are racialised, children and young people, older people, people from an LGBTQ+, homeless, or criminal justice community. This whole-person, whole-system approach ensures that no one is left behind, and significantly, that there is a focus on prevention as well as recovery, reducing the wider impact on other services.
Call to Action
As we look ahead to the Chancellor's first Spring Budget, we urge the Government to propose a plan of action to support mental health charities providing services and commit to sustainable ongoing and future funding for the sector.
We call on the Government to consider the essential role of mental health charities in delivering services but also, in supporting vital parts of the wider system including social care, health, employment, housing, and criminal justice.
Read the full press release announcing the launch of the campaign here.
Read about the launch of the first national picture of mental health service provision here.
Download the Campaign Communications Toolkit here.