Mind responds to Government’s new mental health strategy
Posted Wednesday 2 February 2011
Today sees the launch of the first cross government mental health strategy, No health without mental health, laying out plans for the future of mental health care in England.
Responding to the strategy Mind’s Chief Executive Paul Farmer said:
“From its title onwards ‘No health without mental health’ recognises the crucial fact that mental health is not simply a ‘health’ issue to be covered by the Department of Health in isolation, rather it affects every area of a person’s life and can drastically impact upon their ability to play an active role in society.
It is vital that a range of government departments take up the challenge of embracing mental health, from housing to work and pensions and we welcome the cabinet level commitment expressed so far. This strategy also makes clear that mental health has a ‘parity of esteem’ with physical health, finally giving the issue the equal footing deserved.
A balance must be struck between the delivery of services for people diagnosed with mental health problems with the broader public health issue of addressing mental wellbeing and early intervention to prevent the experience of distress.
Investing £400 million over the next four years towards the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme is an important step, as we know this is a highly effective and economic way of supporting people who are in mental distress.
Stigma and discrimination is still a huge problem for people with mental health problems and can prevent people from getting the help they need.
Mind and Rethink’s Time to Change campaign has built a great deal of momentum in changing public attitudes and we welcome the news that the Government will part-fund this campaign in future.
A symbolic message has been sent that stigma will not be tolerated with the repealing of the outdated law which forces an MP to stand down if they have been sectioned under the Mental Health Act for more than six months. This is a great success for the mental health charities, including Mind, that have long campaigned for this to be overturned.
We now have a clear plan on mental health but it is set against a backdrop of sweeping reforms to the NHS. Key to this strategy’s success will be the ability of a range of bodies to effectively work together while the goalposts are moving. Basic services must continue to operate on a local level despite tightening budgets so that the continuity of care received by service users in the community is not jeopardised.
The Government has acknowledged that making cuts to mental health is a false economy, storing up problems in the long run with costly consequences. It’s important, now more than ever, that sensible decisions are taken about the future of mental health funding.”
Notes to editors:
- Mind is the leading mental health charity in England and Wales. We work to create a better life for everyone with experience of mental distress. www.mind.org.uk
- For more information, interviews or case studies please contact the Mind media team on T: 020 8522 1743 M: 07850 788514 E: firstname.lastname@example.org ISDN line available: 020 8221 0817
- Please note that Mind is not an acronym and should be set in title case.