Today is World Mental Health Day – an opportunity to promote mental wellbeing and educate people about the realities of mental illness. But what changes would you like to see to the mental health system?The UK has made great strides in its mental health care over the past few years. There is a greater emphasis on community treatment, with crisis intervention and early intervention teams set up across the country.
There is also a growing recognition that talking therapies should be the first port of call for people suffering from depression or anxiety, with pilot schemes to test the mechanics of a national talking therapy programme established by the government.
The controversial Mental Health Bill, source of much rancor within the field, is finally law after eight years of wrangling, which will hopefully allow the sector to look ahead. The first manifestation of the new post-Bill world appears to be the anti-stigma coalition Moving People set up over the summer.
But it’s not all rosy in the mental health world. In spite of the consensus around talking therapies there are still long waiting lists. Much improvement is needed in terms of in-patient provision, which since the advent of community treatment has seen a greater concentration of people with more serious problems.
And many are still concerned about the impact of the new Mental Health Act, particularly the community treatment orders and whether they will bring more people from black and minority ethnic communities into the compulsory system.
If I was asked what my priorities were for improving the mental health system it would be a quickening of the talking therapy roll out and greater investment in in-patient care so there are enough staff and time for more therapeutic responses.
But what would your priorities be for the mental health system? Let us know by leaving a comment below.