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Mental health funding

Health Secretary Alan Johnson and Work and Pensions Secretary James Purnell, announced that the UK government is to invest £13m to support people with depression or anxiety

Health Secretary Alan Johnson and Work and Pensions Secretary James Purnell, announced that the UK government is to invest £13m to support people with depression or anxiety. Many of the six million people with mental health issues are currently unable to seek work and this situation is likely to escalate given the recession.

The money will fund a number of measures including talking therapy services around the country, linked to employment support workers. NHS Direct will play a part with health advisers trained to spot people experiencing depression because of financial problems. There will also be improved advice and information about local services available online through NHS Choices.

Primary Care Trusts are also being encouraged to use funds saved through the temporary reduction in the rate of VAT to commission additional services, such as debt advice and family counselling. 

The measures are part of a government drive to prevent people falling into long-term unemployment. The news has been welcomed by patient groups, Mind's chief executive Paul Farmer said: "There has never been a more important time to invest in mental health."

10th March 2009

From: Healthcare

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