Mind welcomes 'information on prescription' pilots
Posted Wednesday 18 October 2006
Mental health charity Mind today warmly welcomed the Department of Health's announcement that money would be made available for pilot schemes providing fuller information to mental health and cancer patients.
Currently, mental health service users are often not provided with full information about their mental health problems, treatment, and options. There are several reasons for this, including assumptions health professionals make about patients' capacity to understand, and professionals not always having access to the information themselves.
Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind, said:
"Today's announcement is very positive news, this initiative should help address the information gap which people with mental health problems currently experience. Mind has been highlighting the importance of quality information for mental health service users for many years. Good information is empowering, it helps people manage their own condition in the way that best suits them.
"Choice must be available to all, not just those most able to argue for it. Access to advocacy services must be a right for all mental health service users. We also hope that information will be made available in a variety of accessible formats and translations, so that everyone is equally able to explore their options.
"We're very pleased that the importance of sign-posting a range of services has been acknowledged. Problems with housing or benefits are likely to impact on people's wellbeing. There's no doubt that exercise can have a therapeutic benefit for many people with mental health problems, so information on this is particularly important. Mind's own research has shown that people value internet forums as a source of information and advice about mental health.
"We hope that this proactive and holistic approach to providing information becomes the norm for all practitioners. We're also glad that this initiative is to be extended soon to older people, who often receive particularly poor information and choice in mental health services."