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16 March 2023

Spring Budget 2023 - A budget for wellbeing?

The Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has announced a £400 million investment into mental health as part of the Spring Budget. Is this going to shift the dial, or is this just another mental health band-aid? Sarah Harris, Managing Director at The Wellbeing Project shares her thoughts.

Yesterday, Jeremy Hunt announced a £400 million investment into mental health support as part of the Spring Budget. This investment is specifically geared towards digital resources which address existing mental health concerns, such as the NHS talking therapies programme. In addition, a £10 million grant will be available to fund suicide prevention organisations. Acting to support people who are experiencing mental health challenges is important, but how far will this go in addressing the mental health crisis?

For this investment to be truly effective and facilitate long-term change, remedial action must sit firmly alongside proactive prevention. Research has shown again and again that the greatest ROI comes from a proactive integration of resilience into the workplace culture. Without this balance, we risk taking another costly and ineffective route to addressing the challenge.

At the same time, we must address the systemic drivers of poor mental health. We need to look deeply at the cornerstones of our society, from the education system to the workplace and beyond. We can then start to develop a preventative approach that is inclusive, accessible, and which actually addresses the root causes.

Adults spend nearly a third of their lives in the workplace. Therefore, organisations of all sizes, across all industries have a role to play to shift the dial on mental health. Not only for the sake of their employees’ wellbeing, but for their business performance too. The announcement of the Spring Budget marks an important step forward; it is not enough on its own.

About the author

SARAH HARRIS is the Managing Director at The Wellbeing Project. She leads The Wellbeing Project’s strategic vision. She combines strong commercial management experience with a deep understanding of wellbeing to bring our vision to life.

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