Response to the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Whole-person care: from rhetoric to reality report

Release Date: 26 March 2013

Source: Mental Health Foundation

Country: United Kingdom

Dr Andrew McCulloch, Chief Executive at the Mental Health Foundation, responds to the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Whole-person care: from rhetoric to reality report:

“We welcome this focus on prioritising parity of esteem between mental and physical health. The scale of the problem is devastating, with mental illness leading to the premature death of thousands of people every year, and depression associated with a 50 per cent increased mortality from cardiovascular disease and from cancer.

A whole-person approach which embraces integrated and holistic care is vital if the inequalities in health experienced by people with a mental illness are to be addressed.

We are encouraged by the call for greater investment in mental health research, which is currently disproportionately low in relation to the disease burden. It is vital that the National Institute for Health Research breaks down the barriers presented by single disease group silos and instead focuses on systems that facilitate multidisciplinary and cross-sector working.

It is refreshing to see an emphasis on the training of professionals who need to understand the complex links between mental and physical health, especially within medically unexplained illnesses which usually have an underlying psychological component.

The current lack of parity is unjust and falls worryingly short of government commitments, therefore we await the Minister’s response to this report with interest.”