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'More money' for mental health

Extra money for mental health services will be included in next week's Budget, Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander has revealed.

The package will include £8.5 million over five years to support veterans as well as a component for children with mental health problems.

Securing more money for mental health has been a key goal for the Liberal Democrats and the package will more than double the amount available to help former service personnel.

Mr Alexander told The Times: "A mental health package will be announced in the Budget and there will be a children's component. Nick (Clegg) has made mental health a huge thing for our party - it's going to be one of the five key pledges on our manifesto."

The children's component will fund early intervention programmes to stop youngsters from developing serious and potentially fatal mental health conditions, the newspaper said.

Chancellor George Osborne will set out his spending plans on Wednesday in the Commons in what will be one of the final acts of the current coalition Government, with Parliament due to be dissolved at the end of the month.

The extra money to support veterans will allow 10 mental health teams to increase help and treatment for servicemen and women with some of the most complex needs.

The announcement comes just days after mental health charity Combat Stress revealed that the number of British veterans of the Afghanistan conflict receiving treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder has increased from 102 in 2010 to 945 in 2015.

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