To help drive forward work being done by public services, Kris Hopkins today gave Surrey £1.5 million to invest in improving help for people with mental health problems.
The cash from the Local Government Minister is aimed at helping work to provide emergency support that will also potentially save £13 million.
Surrey County Council leader David Hodge said: “This is great news for Surrey and, most importantly, for people with mental health issues.
“Investing this money means we can provide even better support when it is most needed while also saving £13m for local taxpayers over 10 years.
“Working together as one team, whether we’re a council, an emergency service or a voluntary group, will ensure problems are picked up as soon as they emerge so more serious difficulties are prevented later.”
Richard Walsh, Surrey County Council’s mental health champion, said: “This is about joining forces to give people with mental health problems even better support but our work will also benefit all taxpayers in the county by helping to reduce their reliance on public services in the future.”
Surrey County Council, Surrey Fire and Rescue Service, Surrey Police, the county’s six clinical commissioning groups, South East Coast Ambulance Service and Surrey & Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust will join forces with the county’s 11 boroughs and districts and voluntary groups.
Money will be invested in ‘safe haven’ facilities across Surrey, a 24-hour telephone line manned by staff from all public services and a ‘buddy’ network to provide support in local communities.
According to national statistics, people with mental health problems account for around 5% of A&E visits, fill 30% of hospital beds and make up 30% of the number of people readmitted to wards.
More details can be found in a Department for Communities and Local Government press release.