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COVID-19: Mental health recovery plan announced

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The pandemic has impacted the mental health of man The pandemic has impacted the mental health of many

A plan to improve the provision of mental health services in the UK after the pandemic has been announced by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

According to the DHSC, People with mental health difficulties, ranging from severe mental illnesses such as bipolar and schizophrenia, to those with more common mental health issues, including anxiety and depression, will benefit from expanded mental health services backed by £500 million of funding.

Under the plan NHS talking therapies (IAPT services) which offer confidential treatment of conditions such as anxiety, depression and PTSD will expand, supporting 1.6 million people to access services in 2021/22, backed by an additional £38 million.

Read more: NHS expands mental health support for staff

‘Our Recovery Action Plan, backed by £500 million of funding will accelerate the expansion of mental health services and provide people with the support they need,’ said Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock.

‘As part of our response to this global pandemic we not only want to tackle the public health threat of coronavirus but ensure our clinicians have the resources to deal with the impact on people’s mental health.’

Funding will also be used to help level up mental health and wellbeing across the country in the most deprived local authority areas in England, supporting prevention activities like debt advice, carers support, outreach to people facing loneliness and isolation, youth projects and community groups.

Read more: ‘Landmark’ reform to mental health laws

‘I am acutely aware of the impact the pandemic has had on the mental health and wellbeing of many. The public has shown great resilience during these challenging times, but some groups including young people and those with severe mental illness have been impacted more than others,’ said Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Nadine Dorries.

‘This funding will support these groups, both in initiatives specifically designed in the wake of the pandemic, and by enabling us to bring forward our NHS Long Term Plan commitments.’

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