MP welcomes extra cash for mental health

Victoria Prentis
Victoria Prentis

Banbury MP Victoria Prentis has welcomed an additional £600m funding for mental health care.

The funding was announced in the Chancellor’s autumn statement. The money can be spent on talking therapies, perinatal mental health and crisis care.

Mrs Prentis highlighted that 40 per cent of mothers of premature babies are affected by post-natal depression soon after birth during a speech to mark World Prematurity Day.

In her Westminster Hall speech, Mrs Prentis highlighted that 40 per cent of mothers of premature babies are affected by postnatal depression soon after birth, compared to five to ten per cent of mothers generally.

She emphasised the need for access to counselling for both parents as well as, where necessary, siblings and grandparents.

She added it was “not acceptable” that on 41 per cent of neonatal units, parents had no access to a trained mental health worker.

Speaking after the Chancellor’s announcement, Mrs Prentis said: “I was delighted to hear the Chancellor’s commitment to provide £600m funding to mental health care, including perinatal mental services. Dealing with bereavement or the birth of a very sick baby is an incredible strain on all family members. It is a travesty so many families do not have access to mental health professionals when they really need it.

“This is a really positive step in the right direction. I look forward to finding out more about how the money will be spent. I am conscious, however, that there is still plenty more to do. I will continue to raise this issue with the minister at every opportunity.”