A GREATER proportion of NHS budgets need to be spent on mental health services, campaigners have said.

Mental health charities and MPs said a Government promise to treat mental health equally with physical health is not reflected by spending.

New figures show residents face a postcode lottery with some East Sussex health bodies investing less than half in comparison with other parts of the country.

Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) spent the lowest percentage on mental health – 8%. But 14% of the East Sussex population, more than 17,000 residents, have mental health needs.

Hastings and Rother CCG spent 9.14% of its budget while demand is at 14.29%, or more than 18,400 residents.

Brighton and Hove CCG was among the top ten percentage of mental health spenders in the country but its investment of 13.63% still failed to meet the demand of the 17.07% of the population, or more than 36,300 residents, with mental health problems.

Shadow Public Health Minister Luciana Berger, who obtained the figures, said: “Mental health should be treated no differently to physical health but vulnerable people face this alarming postcode lottery.”

A spokeswoman for mental health charity Rethink said: “The Government promise to treat mental health equally is nowhere near reality.

“Huge numbers of people wait years for treatments, while many people miss out altogether as services simply aren’t there.”

Anne Foster, of Brighton and Hove CCG, said it was committed to ensuring sufficient resources were allocated to mental health.

She said: “We have developed community mental health services and made progress towards integrating physical and mental health.”

A spokeswoman for CCGs in East Sussex said mental health was a “key priority.”