In a speech to the Charity Commission today Prime Minister Theresa May, promising a mental health care overhaul, pledges to help schools and employers in England deal with the “hidden injustice” of mental illness. The Prime Minister outlines a number of measures designed to give equal priority to mental and physical health, transform attitudes to mental health, and to use the state to create a ‘shared society’.
Kathy Roberts, Chief Executive of MHPF, commented:
“We are pleased to see, and welcome, the various measures outlined by Prime Minister Theresa May in order to transform mental health services but emphasise the importance of involving the whole system [not just the NHS but also across the health and social care landscape] and especially the wider VCSE sector. We appreciate that Mrs May recognised the fantastic work charities have been doing in addressing and tackling mental health problems. It is vital that the invaluable role of the voluntary and community mental health sector continues to be recognised and for the Government to utilise the sector as an effective planning and delivery partner. The sector is an integral part of the health and social care system and should be treated as an equal partner in the delivery of services. With the new measures focusing on community care, it is important to understand that at both national and local levels, the VCSE and statutory sectors need to work in partnership and the services being offered by voluntary and community organisations should be utilised.“
In the speech, the measures being announced include a focus on community care with an extra £15m in funding and less emphasis on patients visiting A&E and GP services; expansion of online services prior to face to face appointments; employers and organisations to be given additional training in supporting staff who take time off; undertaking a review on improving support in the workplace; and offering mental health first aid training to every secondary school.
MHPF, as the national alliance of voluntary sector mental health service providers, will continue to champion the positive and demonstrable difference our members and other voluntary and community organisations make to improve the mental health needs of people. We will continue to support the delivery of services to improve outcomes for individuals, including children and young people.
More information on the measures outlined by the Prime Minister can be found here.