Mixed News For Cambridgeshire Mental Health Funding

Mental health funding for adults in Cambridgeshire rose by 12% since 2016/17, while funding for children's services dropped by 11%.

By Sophie, Cambridge · May 14, 2020

Pic: Shutterstock

Council funding for adult mental health support in Cambridgeshire has risen by £20,000 over the last four years, from £161,936 in 2016/17 to £189,579 in 2019/20.

Mental health support for children in the county has been cut by £38,000 between 2016/17 and 2019/20, from £347,000 to £308,871.

According to data from Cambridgeshire Council, funding for adults stood at £161,936 in 2016/17, rising to £183,583 in 2017/18. It fell slightly in 2018/19, to £181,896, before falling slightly again in 2019/20. The Council noted that the figures for 2017/18 and 2019/20 covered “suicide and anti-stigma work which covers both children and adults.”

Responding to a Freedom of Information request made by media literacy charity The Student View, the council also provided figures for child mental health.

In 2016/17 the budget stood at £347,000, increasing to £351,000 the following year. However, in 2018/19 it dropped again, £343,916, before reaching its lowest point in 2019/20, £308,871. In this instance, the council noted that the first two years including funded for adult and child suicide and anti-stigma work. 

Speaking on the drop in funding for child services, Cambridgeshire Council said “This focuses on core public health expenditure only and does not encapsulate smaller projects funded by other Local Authority teams such as Early Help and Youth services. 

“There are also other contracts funding which will contribute to the mental health agenda, however it would not be possible to extrapolate precise funding allocated to mental health within these contract values.”

The council were unable to provide figures for 2015/2016.

A Cambridgeshire County Council spokesperson said: “The reduction in the children’s mental health budget was due to changes to how training was delivered. This was to avoid duplication of other training that was available and free to access.
“The figures for both adult and children’s mental health expenditure reflect Public Health funding that directly supports a range of services delivered to promote better mental health within our local communities. This money is one part of a much wider picture, as supporting people to improve their mental health involves multiple services commissioned by Public Health and other organisations.
“For example, the Health Visiting service provides a range of services to families, many of which support the wellbeing of new parents and foster positive attachment in early years. Other services also provide mental health support to people in the community, this includes Early Help, School Nurses, Social Care Services and more.
“Cambridgeshire County Council works closely with other partners to deliver and fund services, for example, some children’s mental health services are jointly funded and therefore this is not reflected in the data.”

If you are experiencing difficulties that you think may be related to your mental health, please seek help. Call NHS 111, or click here for support from The Samaritans, or here for support from Mind.