Mind’s full response to launch of call for evidence for the Government’s 10 year mental health plan
The UK Government have launched a discussion paper and call for evidence to inform their cross-Government, 10-year mental health plan, which it says aims to level up mental health across the country and put mental and physical health on an equal footing.
Responding to the launch, Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, said:
“Mind has long been calling for a more joined-up approach from Government to mental health, which has a social and economic cost to the country of £120 billion a year and causes untold damage to every community. A truly cross-Government plan will play a key role in making sure support for our mental health get rebuilt post-pandemic to the same level as for our physical health.
“All the evidence indicates that our mental wellbeing and ability to cope is affected for better or worse by our income, employment, our housing, communities and a host of other influences that can lead to disparities and inequalities, many of which Government can affect. Anyone who has experienced a mental health problem knows that it touches every part of our lives. But too often Government decisions are driven by one-track thinking that doesn’t consider the wider impact of the actions of one Department, let alone the effects on the nation’s mental health. The result has been too much reliance by decision makers on mental health services, which are struggling more than ever to meet the demand due to decades of underinvestment.
“We have a once in a generation chance to change the way Government makes decisions to act in the interest of the nation’s mental health. This must mean ambitious plans for expanding and investing in mental health services and bold new mental health legislation, and also a willingness from the Government to follow the evidence of what works in areas like benefits, education, and housing to build a better future for us all. Only by doing this will be able to reduce the glaring racial and social inequalities that persist in mental health and unlock the potential of millions of lives. We are starting to see the efforts of the Government that are focused on rebuilding physical health services – we need to see the same focus for mental health and wellbeing, which has so far been lacking.”