BPS welcomes Mental Health Framework

The British Psychological Society welcomes the publication of the Mental Health Strategy Implementation Framework.

At a time of great change in the NHS and other organisations involved in mental health it is extremely timely to have this guidance on how a wide range of organisations can ensure they not only meet the needs of those with mental health problems but also address the causes, in order to reduce occurrence and promote well-bring. We are pleased to see links made between mental health charities, the government, mental health care professionals and employers; all sectors of the community need  to come together to address this vital issue.

President of the BPS, Dr Peter Banister CPsychol said: “Today’s announcement is significant in that it shows a high-level commitment to improve mental health and well-being. We are pleased to set out why this announcement is a milestone:

“The Society very much welcomes the commitment that mental health should be valued equally with physical health. The need for urgent efforts to achieve this “parity of esteem” is illustrated by recent statistics. Among the under 65s, mental health problems account for nearly half of all ill health and are as debilitating as chronic physical health problems. However, only a quarter of those with mental health problems receive treatment compared to the vast majority of those with physical health problems.

“We particularly welcome the advice that Clinical Commissioning Groups should appoint mental health leads at a senior level to consider the needs of the whole population and oversee commissioning work. This includes ensuring access to the full range of NICE-approved psychological therapies which is still lacking in many areas. We believe this is absolutely essential to fulfilling the objectives set out in the framework. The role of Health and Well-being Boards will also be important in ensuring local partnerships to improve psychological well-being and tackle many of the causes of mental health problems.

“The focus on the role of schools and employers in promoting well-being and preventing the development of mental health problems is also a positive move. The Society’s Occupational Psychology Health and Well-being Working Group recently produced guidance for organisations to improve psychological health at work.”

The Society is very keen to support the objectives of the strategy through continued engagement with the Department of Health and the many other statutory and third sector organisations who are key stakeholders in delivering these objectives.

Five leading mental health organisations have been involved in producing the framework: Centre for Mental Health, Mind; NHS Confederation Mental Health Network; Rethink Mental Illness and Turning Point.