Coronavirus: Mental Health

Treasury written question – answered on 2nd February 2021.

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Photo of Mark Hendrick Mark Hendrick Labour/Co-operative, Preston

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent assessment he has made of the potential long-term economic effect of mental health issues as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Steve Barclay Steve Barclay The Chief Secretary to the Treasury

The Secretary of State for the Department of Health and Social Care has primary responsibility for considering this issue.

However, at the Spending Review 2020, the Chancellor announced that the NHS will receive around an additional £500 million next year to address waiting times for mental health services, give more people the mental health support they need, and invest in the NHS workforce. This builds on the comprehensive expansion of mental health services as part of the NHS Long Term Plan, which commits at least a further £2.3 billion a year by 2023/24.

In addition, DHSC published ‘Staying mentally well this winter’ in November 2020, backed by an additional £50 million, which sets out the mental health and support available to people throughout the winter period and beyond.

A cross-Government group of ministers, led by the Minister for Patient Safety, Suicide Prevention and Mental Health and the Paymaster General, has been established to consider and respond to the longer-term impacts of the pandemic on mental health and wellbeing and will set out its plans in due course.

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