88% Cut To Youth Mental Health Budget In Manchester

Manchester City Council has severely curtailed its budget for youth mental health issues.

By Pupils in Manchester · September 30, 2019

Support for young people with mental health issues in Manchester has seen an 88% budget cut over the last five years.

The council budget used to support vulnerable young people with mental health issues fell from £1,142,077 in 2014/15 to £131,476 in 2018/19.

The data was sourced by the media literacy charity, The Student View, via an FOI report from Manchester City Council.

Pic: Pexels / Florent B.

Real term expenditure falling

Real term expenditure has dropped by 39%, from £1,004,595 in 2014/15 to £612,048 in 2018/19.

As a result, the council is deficit spending. In 2018/19, the council spent £612,048, from a budget of £131,476, an overspend of 466%.

Nearly 1 in 5 of young people and adults are affected by mental health issues, yet many children and young people services are disproportionately underfunded. Less than 1% of the NHS budget and 8% of the total mental health budget is spent on Children And Adult Mental Health Services (CAHMS).

Council “determining positive outcomes for all Manchester children.”

Paul Marshall, Strategic Director of Children and Education Services at Manchester City Council, said: “Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) are commissioned by the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) from Manchester Foundation Trust (MFT). The Council has historically funded social workers deployed to the MFT CAMHS service to support access for children looked after and provided funding to support the service. This was originally funded from the Early Intervention Grant which ceased following reductions in funding to the Council in 2011.

“The contribution from the Council for CAMHS continued to be provided as an unfunded cost to the Council over the last few years. For the 2019/20 budget from the Council includes £500,000 to continue to contribute towards CAMHS service and the continued deployment of three social workers at a cost of £135,000.

“As part of the NHS transformation/Ithrive programme, the CCG is developing a new specification with MFT for CAMHS, using the Ithrive model to focus on determining positive outcomes for all Manchester children.

“To maximise the impact there has been involvement from children’s social care to ensure the commission reflects best practice and statutory requirements under the Children’s and Families Act.

“The new commission should extend the current offer to children looked after, children and young people aged up to 25 and those placed outside of Manchester and care leavers. The new contract is expected to be in place by September 2019.”

Overstretched and stifled 

Councillor Garry Bridges said: “We have seen over the past few years a huge increase in the number of young people who desperately need support for mental health issues. If we are unable to intervene early, there is a much greater risk that a person suffering from anxiety or depression will develop more serious mental health problems as they grow older.

“But, as a result of cuts made to local council budgets, and the health service in general, we find ourselves overstretched at a time when we can least afford it. These issues are often discussed in regard to budgets and numbers of a spreadsheet, but at the end of the day we are being stifled in our goal to make sure every child can grow up healthy and happy.”

Why did students cover this story?

Pupils from Manchester picked this topic because they “would like to spread awareness about the severity of mental health issues and the effect of it on young people, as it is very relevant and has been a rising issue which is too sensitive and taboo for people to freely talk about. We got the opportunity to write our own articles and even request information via an FOI request, which we didn’t know about before.”