Rushanara Ali MP condemns mental health funding allocation for children and young people in Tower Hamlets

Rushanara Ali MP has called the publication of funding figures for mental health services of children and young people a ‘disgrace’ after the Royal College of Psychiatrists revealed that only £4.45 per head had been allocated in Tower Hamlets for the whole of the 2016/17 financial year.

According to Young Minds, one in ten children and young people aged 5 – 16 suffer from a diagnosable mental health disorder and over the last ten years the amount of young people being admitted to hospital because of self-harm has increased by 68 percent. The newly released findings from the Royal College of Psychiatrists puts Tower Hamlets in the bottom 10 for spending on child and adolescent mental health in England, allocating just 0.56% of its total mental health budget 2016/17 on those services.

These figures are published following the End Child Poverty coalition released figures last week that showed 12,072 children living in poverty in Bethnal Green and Bow.

Despite a pledge from the Government of an extra £10bn in investment for the NHS, and a commitment to invest in child and adolescent mental health services, these figures reveal that vital mental health services are underfunded.

Rushanara said:

“The claim that Teresa May is putting an extra £10bn into our NHS is misleading. Figures like these show how cash strapped our public services really are.”

“In my constituency there are so many children and young people at risk of severe mental health problems. It’s a disgrace that a little less than a fiver per head is being allocated to directly address their needs. There are massive health inequalities in the borough and serious funding pressures, and yet the government has failed to recognise the desperate need."