Association of Mental Health Providers

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The state of mental health: Government must support Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) mental health service providers

12 December 2022: With yet another report highlighting the effect of the cost of living on mental health, and the House of Lords Adult Social Care Committee report confirming the extent of the  funding gap in adult social care, the Association of Mental Health Providers, the national voice of VCSE (Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise) mental health service providers, is continuing to call on Government to recognise the vital and lifesaving support mental health service provider charities offer and to fund them accordingly.

The House of Lords Adult Social Care Committee noted: ‘The consequences of the funding gap in adult social care mean that there are increasing levels of unmet need. One expert by experience described to us the “excessive” amount of money he has had to contribute to his care costs, and how this pushes many disabled people into poverty’

Released on 6 December, Martin Lewis’s charity, the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute (MMHPI) research revealed the severe extent to which rising costs and mounting financial pressures have contributed to increased feelings of anxiety, depression, and in some cases, suicidality; more than half of UK adults (54%) report having felt either anxious, depressed, filled with dread or unable to cope – or a combination of these emotions – due to concerns about their finances and one in six (17%) saying they had experienced suicidal thoughts or feelings as a result of the rise in the cost of living this year.

Kathy Roberts, Chief Executive of the Association of Mental Health Providers says:

“Barely week goes by without a new report about this nation’s worsening mental health.”

“The findings from these reports are all the same; we are facing a crisis in our community’s mental health. Add to this the funding gap, and the mental anguish is exasperated, pushing some people to breaking point.”

“The Government needs to recognise Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) providers are critical to the nation’s mental health service provision, and funds need to be appropriately allocated to this sector accordingly.”

“Our 300 plus member organisations provide vital, sometimes lifesaving services, for many people across the UK, preventing conditions from deteriorating and/or relapse,” Kathy says. “Collectively they deliver over 3000 services locally, regionally and nationally, providing essential support to 8 million+ people experiencing poor mental health and living with mental illness in the community, as well as, their unpaid family carers. This equates to 1 in 8 people receiving support from a VCSE provider organisation.”

“This essential support is critical and must not be underestimated,” she continues. “Mental health must have parity with physical health, and mental health provision must be included in government social care planning and strategy. If people are able to access the help they need in their own homes and the community, there is less impact on other services, including the NHS, in enabling them to remain safe and well, both in terms of fewer admissions to hospital and timely discharge, with the appropriate care and support in place.”

“It’s poignant there were two awareness weeks last week which encompass our members; UK Charity Week is putting the spotlight on charities and the work they do, and National Grief Awareness week is raising awareness of the impact of grief, and how a bereavement may lead to poor mental health such as depression and anxiety. The pandemic meant many people did not get to say goodbye to loved ones, nor did they have the gatherings bringing people together to collectively mourn their loss; as a result, our members seeing more people struggling with grief in need of support.

“All this is at a time of year which can be particularly difficult for some,” Kathy highlights. “VCSE organisations can only support people if they are financially viable, and many are having to cut back services. If this Government really wants to make a difference, now is the time to recognise VCSE organisations for the work they do, and to support them so they can support others.”

Where to find help

  • For all emergencies, mental or physical, please call 999 for an ambulance or go straight to A&E.
  • For people experiencing a Mental Health crisis find your local urgent helpline here.
  • If someone is experiencing despair, distress, or suicidal feelings, for 24-hour support contact the Samaritans on 116 123.

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Note to editors

Association of Mental Health Providers is the representative body for voluntary and community sector mental health organisations in England and Wales.

We represent:

  • 300 plus members,
  • delivering over 3000 services locally, regionally and nationally,
  • reaching 8 million+ people with poor mental health and illness in the community. This equates to 1 in 8 people receiving support from a voluntary and community mental health provider.

Through our Living Experience Advisory Group, we are working with, being guided by, and learning from people with experience of mental health services.

For more information, visit

Contact: Annie Waddington-Feather, Email:, Telephone: 07713646419

We support, influence, advise, and inform, and are deeply committed to discussing and reporting stories relating to mental health responsibly, helpfully, and in a way that takes into account the needs of the most vulnerable members of the population. Please read the media charter here.

The Association can also be found on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.