Despite election promises of funding for mental health trusts, worrying new research indicates that by 2018-19 we could see a cut of up to 8%.

Although definitive spending limits are yet to be announced, the potential for a reduction in support for those living with mental illness is extremely troubling.

For anyone with experience in mental health work, there is no need to explain the disastrous consequences of putting extra strain on already stretched services.

It is important to us all, whether our lives have been touched by mental health concerns or not, that we rally around the mental health services. The consequences of underfunding have a knock on effect to so many other sectors – social services, education, and state benefits, for example.

If there isn’t support for parents battling mental illness, or for children who are coming to terms with challenges of their own, we see extra pressure on schools. If there isn’t support for adults who, for example, struggle with anxiety, we see an increased need for disability benefits. It is impossible to ignore the impact of a rise in untreated mental illness on society.

We can only hope that the budget is built around long term thinking that takes these factors into account, and if not, then it will be our responsibility as a sector to step up, come what may.