Spending on mental health services by Swansea and Neath Port Talbot Councils has been cut back drastically over the last four years, according to the Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for South Wales West, Peter Black.
Mr. Black has obtained figures that show that Neath Port Talbot have reduced spending by 18% whilst Swansea has slashed its budget by 39% over the same period.
Across Wales, 4.74% of Welsh councils’ social care budgets was spent on mental health services in 2014/15, down from just over 5% in 2011/12.
Mr Black said: “Everybody agrees that the impact of undiagnosed and untreated mental ill-health upon people’s own well-being, that of their families, and their ability to contribute to their community is substantial.
“One in six of us will experience symptoms at some point in our lives. One in four adults experience mental health problems at some point in any given year. One in 10 children between the ages of five and 16 has a mental health problem and many more experience behavioural issues.
“The Welsh Labour Government is making efforts to ensure that Local Health Boards like our own Abertawe Bro Morgannwg Health Board identify needs and commit resources. However, if Labour local authorities are cutting back at the same time, then at best spending will stand still.
“Swansea and Neath Port Talbot councils need to take their mental health responsibilities seriously and address their failure to prioritise this service. Mental health must be treated equally with physical health in the NHS and social care, making sure service users are treated in good time and with respect. I hope that our local councils will respond accordingly.”