Government spending on mental health services in England is dwindling despite the fact that mental illness costs £77bn to society each year, according to a new report published by the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health.
Money for Mental Health reveals that public spending increased by only 1.6 per cent this year, compared with a 5 per cent increase for the NHS overall.
"The NHS has seen unprecedented levels of extra spending in recent years, but mental health services are falling further behind," said Matt Muijen, chief executive at the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health.
The survey shows that new services are being introduced despite a lack of resources, which often results in staff shortages and reduced efficiency.
"We face a simple choice: either mental health gets parity with the rest of the NHS, or the Government's plans for better services will have to be scaled back significantly," said Muijen.