Left Party proposal on mental health part of government's budget

Sweden's Left Party has persuaded the government to set aside an annual SEK 280 million in the upcoming fall budget to improve the mental health of children and young people under the age of 30, Swedish Radio News reports.

The Left Party supports the red-green government in parliament and this proposal was one of party leader Jonas Sjöstedt's top priorities, he says to Swedish Radio News.

"It saddens me to know that so many young Swedes are struggling with mental health issues and that their cries for help are often left unanswered," Sjöstedt says.

Each year, SEK 130 million will go to improving youth clinics by hiring more staff and by making them better prepared to work with patients who suffer from mental illnesses. The remaining SEK 150 million will go to different initiatives targeted to make psychiatric care more accessible.

Sjösted has also called for the government to bring back a tax on wealth and to raise taxes for business and high-earners, but none of those proposals will be part of the government's fall budget, Swedish Radio News reports.