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Mental health investment disturbingly low

MQ is the first major mental health charity investigating research into mental health and they are looking at launching a drive to increase investment in this vital area as investment has been found to be disturbingly low.

£115 million is spent on mental health research in Britain every year, with 85 per cent funded by three bodies: the Wellcome Trust, the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). Compare this to the charity Cancer Research alone contributing £386 million into finding cures for cancer and you have a very stark contrast. The Express notes that the “difference is laid bare” with the statistic that every £1 spent by Government on cancer research is matched by a further £2.75 in charity donations. The figure for mental health is less than a third of a penny.

MQ has found that approximately £8 is invested in research per person affected by mental illness. 22x more is spent on research into cancer, and 14x more on dementia.

With 1 in 4 people affected by mental illness each year, these figures are disturbingly low. MQ’s vision is to create a world where mental illnesses are understood, effectively treated and one day made preventable but with the level investment available at present, this vision could take an awfully long time.

Cynthia Joyce, Chief Executive Officer of MQ, has said: “Current funding of mental health research does not do justice to the scale or impact of mental illness on individuals, families and communities,

“Successive governments, all political parties and the current Prime Minister have made mental health a priority. And yet the reality on the ground does not reflect this change. Practically every day a new headline warns us of serious problems with our mental health services.

“Put simply, mental health research must be taken far more seriously if we are to stop attempting to patch holes in current support and instead build an approach towards mental healthcare that consistently offers certainty, clarity and compassion.

“The great breakthroughs in diseases like cancer, HIV, have only been possible with leadership from Government and unprecedented public support for research. Now is the time for mental health research.”

As stated on MQ’s website, “Delivering a genuine breakthrough in our understanding and treatment of mental health requires an increased and sustained investment in research.” Research could achieve great things for mental health. With better understanding of mental disorders and treatment as a whole, extensive research could result in earlier diagnoses, with people receiving appropriate treatment much earlier on into their development of mental health issues. This, in turn, could result in less people being detained under the Mental Health Act 1983. Increased and sustained investment is now urgently required.

Here at Swain & Co our specialist Mental Health Lawyers have represented many people detained in hospital under the Mental Health Act 1983 (as amended) and have assisted them to access the help they so desperately need in the community once discharged.

Swain & Co Solicitors work tirelessly to assist vulnerable people and ensure that their rights under the Mental Health Act are observed.  If you, a family member or friend are experiencing problems or are detained under the Mental Health Act contact our team today on 023 92 483322.

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