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Council's spend "unacceptably low" 1.5% on public mental health

Mental health charity Mind has found that local authorities in Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire spend an average of 1.5 per cent of their public health budget on mental health.

Local authorities have a remit to prevent both physical and mental health problems in the communities they serve. Yet Mind's findings show that councils in our region have a combined public health budget of £228m but allocate just £3.5m to public mental health.

This comes despite that fact that mental health problems cost the country an estimated £100 billion each year through lost working days, benefits, lost tax revenue and the cost of treatment, and account for 23 per cent of the total burden of disease in the UK.

Mind argues that spending on preventing mental health problems developing is just as important as physical health, particularly in relation to more at risk groups such as children and young people, pregnant women, people who are isolated and people living with long term physical health problems.

The charity is calling on the next Government to introduce a national strategy for prevention to ensure local authorities and public health teams use their budgets to prevent mental health problems developing and reduce the numbers of people becoming unwell.

Just like physical health, we all have mental health. Mind's findings show, however, that while local authorities are happy to spend on preventing physical health problems, their equivalent spending on mental health is unacceptably low.

"We need to invest in everyone's mental health, particularly for people who are more likely to become unwell such as younger people, pregnant women, people who are isolated, or those living with a long term physical health problem.

"With demand for mental health services increasing, antidepressants on the up and more people accessing talking therapies, we are beginning to see the scale of the unmet need for mental health services in England.

" As a society we must start looking at what we can do to help prevent people from developing mental health problems in the first place.

"Local authorities need much clearer guidance and support on how best to tackle mental health problems.

"We want the next Government to introduce a national strategy to ensure local authorities know what to do, and use their budgets to prevent mental health problems developing and reduce the number of people becoming unwell."

– Paul Farmer, MIND chief executive

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Flood prevention plans for River Hull

Long term plans to prevent flooding along the River Hull have been revealed. Developed over two years the £45 million project includes new lock style gates where the river meets the Humber estuary along with dredging and removing sunken abandoned boats.

East Riding of Yorkshire Council will discuss plans for dealing with flooding in the River Hull valley which experts say represents the second most at risk drainage catchment in the UK.

Council chiefs will consider two key recommendations for the future dredging and re-profiling of the River Hull south of Tickton and removal of wrecks and uncontrolled structures and using the existing tidal surge barrier as a tidal sluice in the short term; constructing a new barrier adjacent to it in the longer term.

Lord Prescott warns of East/West divide

The Prime Minister has announced a new rail link which is supposed to bring cities across the North of England closer together but tonight it was claimed it could actually push them further apart.

The so-called High Speed 3 line would cut journey times between Hull and Liverpool - but the line would only be upgraded as far as Leeds and the former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Prescott says it risks creating a new East/West divide. James Webster reports.

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West Yorkshire police reaction as man comes close to PM on visit to Leeds

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Video shows 'protester' pushing Prime Minister

ITV News has obtained footage of a man "shoving" the Prime Minister at an HS3 launch event in Leeds.

As David Cameron left Leeds Civic Hall, the man rushes up and appears push to him.

Security officers then seize the man and hurry the PM into a waiting car.

Mr Cameron was in West Yorkshire to announce proposals for a third high-speed rail line in the north, known as HS3.

West Yorkshire Police have said that a 28-year-old man was briefly arrested but was released shortly after, saying the incident was "nothing sinister."

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