From £17,88 to £5,32 per-child – low-level mental health support funding is 'postcode lottery'

There is a stark postcode lottery when it comes to funding for low-level mental health support, with spending per-child ranging from a high of £17,88 to a low of £5,32.

An analysis published this week shows a national average spend across England of £14 per-child. However, at a time of rising mental health spending, some areas are cutting funding.

Low-level mental health services are preventative and early intervention services for treating problems like anxiety and depression or eating disorders. They include support provided by school nurses or counsellors, drop-in centres or online counselling services and can be crucial in preventing conditions from developing into more serious illnesses.

The analysis has been published by Anne Longfield, the children’s commissioner for England. It finds that while the top-spending areas are allocating budgets of at least £1.1 million or more, the worst-funded areas are spending £180,000 or less.

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