Austerity Has Created A Mental Health Crisis

Last week at PMQs, Jeremy Corbyn challenged Theresa May over the Conservative’s record on mental health spending. He was referring to a report produced by The Kings Fund, who estimated that around 40% of mental health trusts have faced year-on-year budget cuts since 2011. Research conducted by the BBC confirmed that between 2011 and 2015, mental health trust budgets were cut by 8.25% across the country, while at the same time, demand for mental health services has increased by around 20%.

The figures are damning but even more so are the real stories of people affected by the cuts. Take, for example, the experience of Sascha, a 16-year-old girl kept in an adult psychiatric ward for three months recently due to a lack of beds in Cornwall, surrounded by terminally ill patients and people suffering from dementia. There has been a 10% increase in the past year of children like Sascha being forced to stay on adult mental health wards due to a lack of beds.

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