Plans for five-year national strategy for mental health unveiled

The first-ever strategy specifically designed for mental health services was shared with frontline workers this week by the Mental Health Taskforce.

Around 350 delegates to this year’s National Recovery and Outcomes Conference were addressed by the taskforce’s chair, Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind, and Geraldine Strathdee, national clinical director for mental health.

Paul and Geraldine explained the Taskforce’s aim is to create a five-year national strategy for mental health. The Taskforce is the first time that there has been a strategic approach to designing mental health services.

Mr Farmer spoke about the feedback from a survey of people living and working in secure services and what the implications are for the work of the Taskforce.

Jacqui Dyer, vice-chair of the Mental Health Taskforce, said: “People are absolutely fed up with having their minds and bodies being treated as if they were disconnected, or as if mental health lacks importance. We must end approaches which don’t encourage integration and our services must respond to the needs of our communities. Anything else puts our NHS at risk of not being worthy of the 21st century.

“Where there is will, there is always a way – so surely by 2020 we can at least apply what we already know. We must be smart, clear and precise about what needs to be put in place between now and 2020 to really make change happen, recognising that each step will take us closer to realising our vision.”


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