Through the National Institute for Health Research, the Government funds a range of research in mental health to inform national mental health policy. In 2020, £93.4 million was spent on mental health research, an increase from the previous year, and the Government is committed to having mental health research as a priority area. Examples of research include a study jointly led with Kings College London and eating disorder charity Beat aiming to better understand what may lead to an eating disorder, and six studies into the impact of COVID-19 on mental health. The Government’s commitments to health-related research and development (R&D) in the 2021 Spending Review, include the largest ever cash uplift for health R&D. Funding will increase by £605 million, meaning the overall investment will rise to £2 billion by 2024/25.
As part of the five-year funding offer agreed in 2019, mental health services will receive a budget growth of £2.3 billion. This will enable further service expansion and faster access to community and crisis mental health services for adults and particularly children and young people. I also welcome the Government’s commitment of around £2 billion to address waiting times for mental health services, which will give more people the mental health support they need.