'Consensus Statement' sets out seven priorities

The Mental Health Policy Group has published a ‘Consensus Statement’ with ‘partner organisations committed to improving the lives of people with mental health problems’.

The Group, which says it ‘together represents providers, professionals, the voluntary and community sector, and hundreds of thousands of people who use the NHS and services in the wider community that support their mental health’, says mental health problems ‘remain one of the largest single causes of disability in England, affecting one in five mothers during pregnancy or in the first year after childbirth, one in eight children and young people, and one in six adults’. 

It adds: As health leaders set out their vision for the NHS over the next 10 years, we urge that it be underpinned and informed by the following seven principles. These are:

  • The next decade must see real parity of esteem for mental health delivered.

  • Mental health should be ‘threaded throughout the Long-Term NHS Plan’.

  • ‘Improved mental health support is not just about the NHS’. ‘The Long-Term NHS Plan ‘must be accompanied by a similar long-term cross-government strategy to effectively tackle the wider social determinants of poor mental health’.

  • ‘Holistic’ support is needed to help people of all ages manage both their physical and mental health.

  • Ambitious pathways and waiting time standards are needed to ensure people with mental ill health receive the right treatment at the right time.

  • A psychologically-informed workforce should be developed across all parts of the NHS, and ‘is vital for providing a truly holistic, whole-person approach to all healthcare’.

  • ‘The disproportionately low levels of research funding for mental health should be addressed’.

The Group added: “We need a much greater focus on research to build the evidence base on existing treatments, effective prevention measures, detection and screening of mental health problems, and the development of new treatments.”