Paper is ‘light’ on mental health plans

Proposals on mental health in the white paper are not ambitious enough, say campaigners.

The document says the pilots of talking therapies for people with common mental health problems will be held at two sites.

These will focus on “people of working age with mild to moderate mental health problems, with the aim of helping them to remain in or return to work”. The government will also implement “light-touch” registration of therapists. But Rethink director of campaigns Paul Corry criticised the decision to launch just two pilots when evidence already pointed to the effectiveness and popularity of talking therapies.

Mind raised concerns that therapy would only be available for people of working age. Mental Health Foundation head Andrew McCulloch said it was useful to test talking therapies before they went national but said the paper as a whole was light on mental health.

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