Target deadlines look optimistic

The targets set out in the National Service Framework for Mental
Health will not be met within the 10-year timeframe unless there is
a major acceleration of the work, a mental health charity has

Mind has compiled a progress report at the halfway stage of the
10-year NSF, which was published in 1999. Although it acknowledges
some improvements have been made, it says progress was
unsatisfactory on six of the seven standards.

On mental health promotion, it calls for large-scale efforts “to
combat stigma and discrimination relating to mental health” in the
media, in employment and health services.

The report recommends clearer guidelines on accessing GP services
and the need for doctors to receive better training to identify
mental health problems. It also calls for crisis services and more
community-based services such as drop-ins to be available to all
those needing them, not just those with the most severe

Mind policy director Sophie Corlett said: “Progress to date is
unsatisfactory and calls into question the government’s stated
prioritising of mental health.”

Mental health national director Louis Appleby said he would be
compiling a review of progress in a report for health secretary
John Reid which would identify areas where more work was needed.

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