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Lecturers welcome UK Government’s planned extra £1.3bn funding for mental health services

2 August 2017

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Lecturers at Wrexham Glyndwr University have welcomed the Government’s planned extra £1.3bn funding for mental health services.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt’s announcement to create 21,000 new posts within mental health by 2021 comes just six months after the North Wales university launched three new degrees to address a national crisis in mental health and social care.

The DipHE Contemporary Health Studies, BSc Health and Wellbeing, and BSc Mental Health and Wellbeing are set for their first intake in September.

Programme leaders Justine Mason and Catherine Hewins believe the extra finances will make a big difference as the NHS struggles to cope with the burden of more people living with long term conditions and mental health issues.

Justine said: “The funding will help to address mental health needs at a society and community level rather than medically. This is where intervention will be most successful and it will potentially save millions.

“The focus is moving to prevention rather than cure. Social enterprises and third sector organisations such as the successful Men’s Sheds Association and Advanced Brighter Futures are already demonstrating how innovative and creative approaches can help to resolve these issues long-term.”

The new plans sets out measures to tackle the ‘historic imbalance’ in workforce capacity and fulfil ambitions to improve mental health services.

The government committed £1.3 billion to transform mental health services, with a pledge to treat an extra 1 million patients by 2020 to 2021; provide services 7 days a week, 24 hours a day; and integrate mental and physical health services for the first time.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “We want people with mental health conditions to receive better treatment, and part of that means having the right NHS staff. We know we need to do much more to attract, retain and support the mental health workforce of the future.

As we embark on one of the biggest expansions of mental health services in Europe it is crucial we have the right people in post – that’s why we’re supporting those already in the profession to stay and giving incentives to those considering a career in mental health.”

It is envisaged that the funding will provide scope to create 2,000 additional nurses, consultants and therapist posts in child and adolescent mental health services and 2,900 additional therapists and other allied health professionals supporting expanded access to adult talking therapies.

All three of the new degrees are intended to provide students with a range of career options when they graduate, able to tap into the growing mental health workforce.

Visit https://www.glyndwr.ac.uk/en/AcademicSchools/SocialandLifeSciences/ to find out more and apply now for September 2017 entry.

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