Last year, as the Government announced it was increasing investment in the NHS, we set out our vision for transforming mental health services in England. For too long, mental health services have been overstretched and underfunded in the NHS, meaning too many people with mental health problems don’t get the help they need to stay well.
Our report, Transforming Mental Health, argued that mental health should be at the heart of the new long term plan for the NHS. The four priorities we set out for mental health were:
- preventing people from developing mental health problems where possible
- improving access to support for everyone who needs it
- supporting people to recover and live well in the community
- tackling inequality.
NHS England has now published its ten year strategy, which includes a commitment to increase funding for mental health services by £2.3 billion per year – if delivered, this will mean that a greater proportion of NHS funding will be being spent on mental health.
Other commitments in the plan include:
- increasing the amount of mental health funding being spent on services for children and young people, and promising that all young people who need specialist care can access it by 2028/9
- improving access to IAPT talking therapies for people with anxiety, depression and other common mental health problems
- a promise that everyone will be able to access timely, 24/7 mental health crisis support through NHS 111 by 2028/9 and an increase in the provision of alternative forms of crisis support, such as sanctuaries and crisis cafes
- more mental health support in the community for people with severe mental health problems, for example, increased access to psychological therapies and employment support.
Now that the national plan has been published, it’s up to local areas to develop their own plans for how they will achieve these. Mind will be closely watching developments and expect that local plans will be developed in consultation with local people.
When the NHS publishes more information about how you can get involved in the development of your local plan, we’ll let you know so we can make sure the commitments on mental health are delivered.
In the meantime, you can read the full NHS long term plan here.
You can see what Mind told the NHS what it wanted to see in the plan in our report Transforming Mental Health.