Mental Health Foundation's response to the new NHS long-term plan
Commenting on the NHS long-term plan, published today, Mark Rowland, Chief Executive at the Mental Health Foundation said:
“We welcome the new commitments on prevention and mental health in the NHS long-term plan. In particular it is positive to see a much greater focus on children, students, perinatal mental health and community care.
"The evidence shows that investing in mental health early in the life course and at the first signs of distress will help prevent mental health problems in the future*. It is good to see an NHS plan that looks beyond the political cycle and towards what is best for the health of our nation.
“We know that mental health problems are not evenly distributed across society, so we are pleased to see that local areas will be required to show how they are addressing inequality.
“If we are to tackle the current crisis facing our mental health, this increased investment in services needs to be matched by a commitment to the prevention of mental health problems. The plan recognises the importance of prevention for physical health and we need the same approach for mental health.
"It already recognises the role of all government departments in addressing mental health. In light of that, we are calling for the establishment of a cross-government body to lead a public mental health approach in key areas such as education, criminal justice, housing and social care which could do much to address the causes of mental ill-health."
*OECD, 2018, Health at a Glance, p32 accessible at: https://read.oecd-ilibrary.org/social-issues-migration-health/health-at-a-glance-europe-2018_health_glance_eur-2018-en#page34