One of the largest areas where health is underfunded in the UK is mental health schemes. It has always received less investment despite that one in four of us will suffer some mental illness each year. We are also suffering with mental illness earlier than ever. Mental health charities often have to rely on charity money, such as from the Big Lottery Fund. The fact is that mental health is a growing concern and one about which we are all much more aware. That is why lottery bosses have made available over £55m for mental health schemes for young people in England.
The Funded Mental Health Schemes
The Big Lottery Fund money will go to the following schemes in England:
- £10m each to programmes in Blackpool, Kent and Newham (London) for training for professionals to spot the early signs of mental illness in young people
- Cornwall council and Wolverhampton council each received nearly £9m each for their mental health schemes for local young people
- £7.8m for a five year project in Hull
They each come under a national scheme called Head Start. They represent the chosen recipients from a pilot scheme of Head Start that started in 2014. The money will tackle stigma and identify children with potential mental health problems. At present, disruptive behaviour and absence results in a diagnosis of “problem child”.
Head Start Will Challenge The Stigma of Mental Health
Mental health stigma is one of the biggest obstacles to people seeking help. The government promised £1.4bn of funding in 2014 specifically towards mental health treatment. Head Start is a nationwide programme engaging local authorities, charities and professionals. Their long-term goal is to challenge stigma, provide a sustainable programme for the future and achieve positive and measurable change. Most of all, it will help local young people identify and seek help for their developing mental illnesses.