“10,000 miles to go” in improving mental health services

A leading clinical psychologist told the Mind annual conference
that there is about “10,000 miles to go” in improving
mental health services, writes Sally Gillen from the
conference in Harrogate.

Rachel Perkins said some progress had been made, but a lot of
work was still needed to implement the National Service
Five years into the NSF, Perkins said she was concerned that much
of the change had been structural.
Under the NSF, new teams such as assertive outreach have been set
up, which have seen provision move from the statutory to the
voluntary sector.
“What I’m really worried about is the fact we have not
grasped the nettle in terms of cultural change”, said
Perkins.  She went on to tell delegates that mental health issues
should be moved from those involved in “do-gooding”
such as social workers.
She said it should be taken from the Department of Health and
placed in the Department for Work and Pensions so issues such as
employment could be dealt with.
Later, Mind’s chief executive Richard Brook said Scotland was
spending six times more money on promoting mental health, despite
having a 10 times smaller population than England.
“That is a pretty bleak picture”, he said.

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