Mental Health Policy Group launches
The Mental Health Policy
Group- the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Mind, Rethink
Mental Illness, Centre for Mental Health, Mental Health
Foundation and Mental Health Network have produced a
manifesto, laying out what the next Government must do to improve
the lives of people with mental health problems.
‘A Manifesto for Better Mental
Health’ sets out five key priorities for action:
- Fair funding for mental health - Commit
to real terms increases in funding for mental health services for
both adults and children in each year of the next Parliament.
- Give children a good start in life - Ensure
all women have access to mental health support during and after
pregnancy. Raise awareness of mental health by putting it on the
national curriculum and training teachers and school nurses. Invest
in parenting programmes across England.
- Improve physical health care for people with mental
health problems- Ensure Government targets for smoking
reduction apply equally to people with mental health problems.
Create a national strategy to stop people with mental illness dying
early, due to preventable physical health problems.
- Improve the lives of people with mental health
problems – Continue to fund the Time to Change anti stigma
campaign. Offer integrated health and employment support to people
with mental health conditions who are out of work.
- Better access to mental health services –
Introduce maximum waiting times for mental health care and support,
including psychological therapies. Commit to continued improvements
in mental health crisis care, including liaison psychiatry services
in all hospitals. Continue to fund liaison and diversion mental
health services, working with police and the courts.
Dr Adrian James, Chair of
the Royal Collage of Psychiatrists Parliamentary Committee
said: “For far too long the treatment and care for people
with mental health problems, and investment in mental health
research, has been under-funded and under-valued. The stigma and
discrimination experienced by people with mental health problems
often prevents them from talking about them and seeking help. The
NHS Mandate makes it clear that mental health should have parity of
esteem with physical health, yet the majority of mental health
services have endured a third year of real-terms reductions in
funding. We hope that any future Government will take on board
these five key priorities for action.”