HC Deb 10 November 1970 vol 806 cc188-9
23. Mr. Mayhew

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what expenditure he proposes on health education in the current year; and what proportion of this will relate to mental health education.

Sir K. Joseph

Local authority expenditure is not collated centrally. The Health Education Council will spend about £456,000 in 1970–71, of which no part has been reserved specifically for mental health.

Mr. Mayhew

While paying tribute to the work of the Health Education Council, may I ask the right hon. Gentleman to bear in mind that probably at least 20 or 30 times more is spent on education about physical health than on education about mental health, which is almost wholly done by some admirable voluntary associations? Will he assure the House that he will give his support to those associations?

Sir K. Joseph

I do not underestimate the importance of public education, but mental health does not lend itself to quite the same facility for mass communication as do some of the other health subjects.

Sir D. Renton

Is my right hon. Friend aware that if more education were given to the parents of mentally handicapped children dealing with how to care for their children, less money might need to be spent within the National Health Service and the hospital service on caring for such children?

Sir K. Joseph

I agree with that proposition wholeheartedly, on grounds of both humanity and effectiveness.

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