Mental health policy in England

House of Commons
House of Commons
Publication date:
01 August 2017


Around one in four people in the UK suffer from a mental health problem each year, but mental illness often goes untreated, and historically, treatment options for mental health compare unfavourably with those for physical conditions. While mental illness is estimated to accounts for almost a quarter of the total burden of disease, only 13 per cent of the NHS budget is spent on mental health services. The NHS has set out that it wants to achieve “parity of esteem” between mental and physical health, in terms of access to services, quality of care and allocation of resources. While the achievement of parity of esteem has been a long term-policy goal, since 2010 this aim has increasingly featured in legislation and in government and NHS policy statements.