The scale of the UK’s mental health challenge has been underestimated

Assisting greater than a further a million Great Intelligence people with mental health issues is laudable (NHS vows to convert mental health services with extra £1bn a year, 15 February). But most effective if the remedy is powerful. Infection of…

Assisting greater than a further a million Great Intelligence people with mental health issues is laudable (NHS vows to convert mental health services with extra £1bn a year, 15 February). But most effective if the remedy is powerful. Infection of the thoughts is inherently more hard to diagnose than the illness of the body. And remedy results are more uncertain. For example, the plenty vaunted speakme treatment plans can most effective work if the counselor and the affected person hit it off (through the years, I have had one tremendous score from six tries). Drug therapy is definitely powerful, but it typically takes weeks to paint and often makes human beings loads worse earlier than they start to get better, leading a few to prevent taking the tablets too soon. It is not clear that GPs’ schooling yet gives them an ok grounding in mental health. Psychiatric inpatient remedy is obviously worthwhile, but in my revel in case you get 20 minutes a week of your consultant’s time and then best on weekdays you are doing properly, and acute stress on beds was that sufferers are regularly discharged too quickly with delivered pressures on community offerings Give Us Life.


Add to this the government’s aspiration for a seven-day comprehensive NHS, which for mental infection approach masses of extra beds, psychiatrists, and psychiatric nurses. It appears clear that David Cameron and Simon Stevens have underestimated the scale of the challenge they’ve set themselves.
Robin Wendt

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• The record of the mental health task force is to be welcomed. It highlights the impact that mental health issues have on individuals and society. Even more importantly, it suggests areas that the NHS can cognizance on. There’s considerable evidence that services together with early intervention for humans with psychosis and home remedy for the ones susceptible to hospital admission are valued by the ones using them, and they keep the money. Growing get right of entry to the mental healing procedures is also an important precedent. Even though it sooner or later saves money, greater care provision requires premature investment, so it’s miles welcome that the government has pledged £1bn to

Unfortunately, this does not seem like further to the £8.4bn per year that has already been pledged by 2020. The earmarked funds amount to 12% of this overall, ready for what is going on in mental fitness anyway. Virtually the fundamental problems uncovered by this report necessitate price range in addition to the ones already pledged. The wishes in different healthcare areas have not diminished, so this will not decrease pressures at the machine but rather redistribute them.


Paul McCrone

• The mental health taskforce record’s unmarried maximum crucial message is set inequality. That is by a long way the most important issue driving the massive increase in mental misery. As Wilkinson and Pickett argued inside the Spirit degree (2009): “If Britain became as identical as the 4 most equal societies … mental illness might be greater than halved.” Welcome as greater funding is, it’s going to no longer stem the tide of misery if the basic reasons stay in location. We don’t want more research to work this out. We need political motion.

Dr. Lucy Johnstone

Consultant clinical psychologist, Bristol

• Polly Toynbee (forget approximately a mental health revolution with our new cash, 16 February) shrewdly queries the extra £1bn David Cameron promises for mental fitness. To paraphrase the mental health taskforce report, the human feel of insufficient mental fitness services is unacceptable – and this is not a time for extra rhetoric. With ringfenced cash, the approaching years ought to see rapid development in the guide to be had for the only 4 who revel in a mental fitness problem every 12 months.

Although excellent, the document does not perceive every pressing motion required. If you suffer from mental infection, you will regularly only discover short-term therapies available through the NHS’s improving get admission to the psychological treatment options program. Simultaneously, as those healing procedures paintings for some, the program’s personal figures show they do not paintings for all. Offerings that offer longer-time period therapeutic help have been decimated in recent years – no matter the growing proof base for the efficacy of psychoanalytic psychotherapy interventions.

Without a meaningfully resourced and accessible variety of longer-time period, proof-based totally therapies available on the NHS, people who require such assistance are correctly denied the treatment they want. Given the aspiration for parity of esteem among bodily and mental fitness, could this be perfect for most cancer sufferers?

Gary Fereday

Leader government, British Psychoanalytic Council

• I consider Polly Toynbee’s analysis of the dire want for the extra budget for mental fitness and the unlikelihood of the more £1bn being ringfenced for that reason.

Some other detail, little referred to within the modern-day debate, is that of the sizable sum that unpaid carers shop the NHS annually, envisioned at nicely over £100bn by CarersUK. Leaving aside the enormous contribution of carers for those with dementia, there’s a large army of discerning carers who provide 24/7 guide inside the domestic for teenagers with difficult and enduring mental fitness situations. This is a part of “care within the network,” designed to provide a regular crew of health professionals to ensure the most effective treatment and help within the home.

In reality, with an ever-increasing workload assigned to community groups and a very insufficient wide variety of skilled, certified professionals to offer expert assistance, carers are often poorly supported and find themselves performing as “lay” occupational therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists as they war to understand the complicated symptoms and behavior associated with such ailments and to offer the perfect reaction. Without this assist, there would be an ever-growing demand for the shrinking delivery of mental fitness beds.

This would not be ideal in the context of physical contamination and best underlines how tons more the investment needs to be if you want to even method to an awful lot trumpeted “parity of esteem.” While projects, which include the “Triangle of Care,” highlighted within the mental fitness taskforce report are welcomed by carers, it’s far simplest considerably multiplied funding that will allow the implementation of this and other carer-associated tasks.

Susan Randall


• In recent years, emphasis on preventive remedy has been extraordinarily a hit in lowering the prevalence of many physical sicknesses. Over the equal duration, the occurrence of mental sicknesses has sharply improved. The government has now promised an extra £1bn to meet the remedy costs of the massive increase inside the range of already sick humans requiring remedies. Should we no longer be directing our interest to preventive mental health?

Professor emeritus John Webster

Yeovil, Somerset

• Polly Toynbee is definitely proper to impeach the sincerity of the top minister’s pledge to result in parity between mental and bodily health services across England without a greater equitable share of NHS financial assets.

Despite a succession of government-subsidized reports during the last 5 years, culminating in the final week’s damning mental health taskforce findings, the giant disparities in both investment and ready time standards among acute and mental health are at a serious chance of genuinely continuing.

This is essential because – unlike each, the countrywide provider Framework for adult mental health and CAMHS (infant and Adolescent mental health services), modernization grants, delivered in 1999 and based totally on mandatory performance requirements and hypothecated (i.e., ringfenced) funding throughout health and social care – modern-day NHS investment is almost completely allocated to the commissioners (medical commissioning organizations) for his or her very own discretionary local distribution.

Given the relentless stress to both meet the government’s £22bn efficiency target and meet the call for the crisis in hospitals, the CCGs commissioning prioritization across the spectrum of fitness burdens is not going to alter without both mandatory government intervention to shift the stability within current assets or, more welcome, ringfenced funding for mental health past the extra £8bn promised for the NHS and to be released properly beforehand of 2020 to meet the immediate crisis.

Councillor Paul Dolan

cupboard member for adult social care, Cheshire West and Chester Council, and senior commissioning manager mental fitness and studying disabilities, NHS, 2002-13

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