Coalition sets out a mental health agenda for next ten years


Campaigners and professionals have called for “genuine cross-government action” to improve mental health services over the next 10 years, as well as a focus on putting service-users in control of their own care.
The report by the Future Vision Coalition – whose members include campaigning charities, NHS bodies and local authorities – aims to influence the government’s new mental health strategy.
The strategy will replace the 10-year national service framework for mental health, which ends this year.
The coalition’s new report, A Future Vision for Mental Health, sets out its own 10-year agenda, and among its recommendations are calls for a cabinet level mental health “champion”; and for incentives for employers to recruit, retain and support employees who have experienced mental health problems.
The paper also calls for more funds for user-led organisations, so they can “lead research and shape strategy and policy at the highest levels” and expand peer support and their own services.
And the report says more people with personal experience of mental distress should be recruited to work within mental health services, such as those providing employment support.
It also recommends: mental health training for all frontline public service professionals, including police officers and teachers; and guaranteed future funding for the national anti-stigma campaign, currently funded by the Big Lottery Fund and Comic Relief.
Paul Corry, director of public affairs for Rethink, said: “Even though one in four people will experience a mental health problem at some stage, the stigma and discrimination they face means many people are denied relationships, work, education, hope, and the chance to live an ordinary life that others take for granted.”
And Angela Greatley, chief executive of the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health, said: “Mental health services have changed almost beyond recognition over the last decade.
“But the lives people with mental health problems lead are still too often constrained by prejudice, discrimination and a lack of the right support.
“And too little is done to promote good mental health in schools, workplaces and communities.”
7 July 2009


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