Report calls for mental health services overhaul

A new report has called for “radical but realistic” changes to be made to England’s mental health services over the next ten years.

The report, ‘The Future of Mental Health: A Vision for 2015’, said that mental wellbeing should be promoted in all schools by 2015, while employers should also be able to compete to become ‘wellbeing workplaces’ as well.

The report also called for people with severe mental health conditions to have their own budgets for the services they want, including a range of alternatives to hospital admission and an ‘associate’ to help them manage their lives.

Talking therapies should also be available as a matter of routine, the report said.

The report, which was published jointly by the Association of Directors of Social Services, the Local Government Association, the NHS Confederation and the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health, said that public services could make a huge difference to the mental wellbeing of the whole population and to the lives of those who have mental health problems.

Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health Chief Executive Angela Greatley said: “We want public services to make a resolution to work towards this vision of what life could be like 10 years from now. By investing in good mental health, and offering people who experience mental distress a better service, the £77 billion annual cost to society can be reduced and some of our nation’s starkest inequalities can be redressed.”

Local Government Association spokesperson David Rogers said: “Up to one in four of us will suffer from mental health problems at some point in our lives. It is vital that we challenge the stigma surrounding this issue and create a climate, which encourages tolerance, understanding and timely treatment. This report sets out a challenging but achievable vision of how the overall well-being of our communities can be improved by the health sector and local government working together."


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