New cuts data provides yet more evidence that our mental health system is at breaking point, says charity

In response to the findings, Martin McShane, NHS England director for people with long term conditions, said its mandate to deliver “parity of esteem” for mental health patients was a five year plan that was “about much more than just the NHS”.

“In 18 months we have taken action to deliver parity, including creating choice, better physical healthcare for people with serious mental illness, better crisis care, better information and, with Monitor, are consulting on new payment systems.”

Mark Winstanley CEO of the charity Rethink Mental Illness said: “This data is yet more evidence that our mental health system is at breaking point. How many more warning signs does the Government need before they take real action?

“Mental health accounts for 23% of the disease burden but gets just 11% of the NHS budget and until we address this fundamental inequality, people with mental illness will continue to suffer. If the political will was there, the money could be found.

“We agree with NHS England that parity of esteem is about more than just the NHS, but it would be a good place to start. The actions they point to as evidence for delivering parity are basic things that should have been sorted out years ago. They help to bring mental health care up to a basic level, but in no way do they bring mental health in line with the rest of the NHS.

“We know what the problems are and we also know what works. This is not complicated and could be rectified if the Government and the NHS made it a priority.”

For further comment from Rethink Mental Illness or to set up an interview, contact 0207 840 3043

Notes to editors

Rethink Mental Illness is a charity that believes a better life is possible for millions of people affected by mental illness.

For over 40 years we have brought people together to support each other. We run services and support groups that change people’s lives and challenge attitudes about mental illness.

We directly support almost 60,000 people every year across England to get through crises, to live independently and to realise they are not alone.

We give information and advice to 500,000 more and we change policy for millions.

For more information go to

Rachel Hobbs 
News and Media Manager, Rethink Mental Illness
0207 840 3138
Tweet me! @Rachel_Rethink