Rachel Clift, Health & Wellbeing Director at Ben, commented on the 2018 budget announcement this week:
“It’s promising to see the latest budget is very focused on mental health and we’re particularly thrilled to see an extra £2bn being allocated for mental health services in England.
“It isn’t clear at this stage how this money will be spent but I’m hopeful that this additional funding will be used for prevention as well as improving further access to talking therapies, with reduced waiting times for assessment and treatment.
“The budget announcement also included a 10-year plan for the NHS, which will include new mental health crisis services including comprehensive mental health support available in every major A&E, specialist ambulances and hotline. These changes will undoubtedly have an impact on the way we work with people. With more specialised mental health support available in A&E departments, we will need to understand this service and factor these changes into our support services, referral pathways and crisis management procedures.
“The extra £700m for councils for care of the elderly and those with disabilities may also impact the way we work and it’s important for us to know what this budget will be spent on. We support people with disabilities, we also support those who have retired from the automotive industry, as well as people who care for elderly relatives. Therefore, we need to understand exactly what this will mean so we can help people to navigate the right services, as part of the information, advice and guidance service that we offer.
“At Ben, we believe that mental health is a vital area of health & wellbeing to invest in – we see an increase year on year in people coming to us for support in this area (our latest figures show 78% increase YOY). As always, Ben will continue to be there to support the people of the automotive industry with all aspects of their health and wellbeing.”