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We work to develop evidence-based mental health policies across the UK to help everyone enjoy good mental health and make a better recovery from mental illness. 

We have a proud history of informing and influencing policy at a national and local government level.

This work goes hand-in-hand with our research, campaigns and service development activity and enables us to respond promptly to Government consultation documents on a range of issues that impact on mental health services and people with mental health problems, such as:

  • NHS reform
  • Public mental health
  • Changes to the welfare benefits system
  • Adult social care reforms
  • Dementia standards
  • Personalisation
  • Patient choice
  • Commissioning
  • Mental health and mental capacity legislation

We also produce our own policy briefings on key mental health issues for Ministers, parliamentarians, civil servants, opinion-formers and members of the public.

Our Policy Panel brings together the opinions of hundreds of members of the public to respond to policy proposals that affect mental health issues.

We work closely with other voluntary sector organisations and professional bodies to maximise the impact of our policy work. 

We are core members of:

  • The Future Visions Coalition - advisors to the Government on its new mental health strategy
  • The Mental Health Alliance - who monitor the impact of the Mental Health Act 2007
  • The We Need To Talk Coalition - that successfully lobbied for an expansion of psychological therapies
  • The Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition
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Response to the Cavendish review of training and support of healthcare and care assistants

The Cavendish Review was published in July 2013. It was an independent review into healthcare assistants and support workers in the NHS and social care settings, in response to which we published this document.

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Response to a Consultation on Strengthening the NHS Constitution

The We Need to Talk Coalition's response to the Government's consultation about strenghtening the NHS Constitution

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The Future of Mental Health Services

Share your views and help shape the mental health services of the future.

Care and Support Bill Consultation Response

Read our response to the Care and Support Bill Consultation.

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Commissioning Mental Health Services

New GP consortia in England need to develop their skills and expertise in commissioning mental health services.

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Our Policy on Schizophrenia

We believe people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia should get the best possible care and support to manage their condition and help them to recover.

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Veterans' Mental Health

Many veterans (ex-service personnel) experience mental health problems, often relating to their experiences in the armed forces. Any such problems need to be addressed quickly and effectively.

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NHS Reforms in England

The Government's proposals for NHS reform will only succeed if certain conditions are met, including expert GP commissioning of mental health services and service user agreed outcomes.

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Physical Health and Mental Health

Physical health and mental health are inextricably linked. Action is needed to improve the physical health of people with mental health problems, and to make mental health a key public health priority.

Response to the DWP consultation on 21st Century Welfare Reform

The Coalition Government is reforming the welfare system, affecting benefit claimants with mental health problems. Our response sets out our concerns about the assessment system.

We Need to Talk Coalition Report

The Mental Health Foundation is a member of the We Need To Talk Coalition, which has been campaigning for wider provision of psychological therapies. The Coalition report highlights a variation in provision across England.

Future Vision Coalition New Mental Health Strategy

This policy paper by the Future Vision Coalition, of which the Mental Health Foundation is a core member, was published in 2010 to influence the new government's mental health strategy, published on 2 February 2011.

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Response to the Equality and Human Rights Commission Inquiry into Disability Related Harassment

The Equality and Human Rights Commission launched a formal inquiry in 2010 into disability-related harassment. The Mental Health Foundation response cites harassment experienced by people with mental health problems and people with learning disabilities.

Response to Liberating the NHS: Transparency in outcomes – a framework for the NHS

We highlight the need for outcomes to focus on community care as well as hospital care, and to include better mental health for the whole population as well as improved services for people with a mental disorder.

Response to Liberating the NHS: Commissioning for Patients

We set out concerns around GP commissioning expertise and the need for GPs to commission in partnership with a range of other agencies, such as social care.

Response to Liberating the NHS: Local Democratic Legitimacy in Health

Our response to the Department of Health’s plans to strengthen public involvement in health, including creating a new HealthWatch body.

Response to the Health Select Committee Inquiry into NHS Commissioning

Our response, to the Committee, in light of the Coalition Government’s plans to move responsibility for NHS commissioning from Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) to GP-led consortia.

Children and Young People’s Mental Health: the Policy, the Progress Made, the Challenges

The Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition’s briefing paper on children and young people’s mental health issues, setting out the challenges facing services and the Coalition’s key areas for policy development.

Response to Direct Payments for Health Care consultation

Our response to the Government’s proposals to introduce direct payments for health care, but challenging local assessors to ensure that people with mental health needs and people with learning disabilities have equality of opportunity.

Future Funding of Social Care (the Dilnot Commission)

Our response, arguing that people who may only occasionally be able to contribute financially towards the costs of their care, including many people with mental health problems – must nevertheless be guaranteed to have their social care needs met.

Adult Social Care Outcome Measures

Our response to the Department of Health consultation on adult social care outcome measures, highlighting the need to ensure that outcomes reflect what social care users and their carers really want.

Response to the Big Society Consultation

This paper is a joint response from the Mental Health Foundation and the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities to the potential impact of the Big Society.

Response to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia Inquiry

Read our response to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia Inquiry on cost savings and delivering better outcomes in dementia care.

Response to the Government’s listening exercise on NHS reforms

Read our response to the Government’s listening exercise on NHS reforms.

Response to the Work Capacity Assessment review

Read our response to the Work Capacity Assessment review

Response to the Government's proposed Personal Independence Payment scheme

Response to the Government's proposed Personal Independence Payment scheme