We see increasing demand for mental health support through the high number of referrals the Together Trust receives daily. Mental health is one of our campaigning priorities, and we will continue to fight for change where it is needed in the mental health system.
Some stats around Mental Health
- Currently, 8.2 million people in England live with mental health issues (Nicholls, 2023).
We are concerned that mental health is no longer a political priority.
- The spending of local authorities on early help services has been halved between 2010 and 2020, while government funding for children’s services was cut by 24% (Center for Mental Health, 2022).
- Overall, 1 in 10 children as young as 10 have low wellbeing (Children’s Society, 2023)
- Disabled people report higher levels of loneliness: 15.1% of disabled people reported feeling lonely “often or always” in 2020/21, compared with 3.6% of non-disabled people (ONS, 2021)
Background to Mental Health reforms
10-year mental health plan scrapped
In April 2022 the Department of Health and Social Care published a 12-week call for evidence for a new 10-year mental health and wellbeing in England to improve mental health. The consultation ran until 7 July 2022.
We were deeply disappointed to hear of the government’s decision to scrap the dedicated 10-year mental health plan.
Major Conditions Strategy
On 24 January 2023, the government decided to incorporate tackling mental ill health into a Major Conditions strategy.
The aim of the Major Conditions Strategy is to ensure that mental ill health is considered alongside other physical health conditions, and that the interactions between them are reflected in any resulting commitments.
All responses received via the 10-year mental health and wellbeing call for evidence are being considered to inform the development of the Suicide Prevention strategy and Major Conditions Strategy.
We are afraid that a one-size-fits-all Major Conditions Strategy will fail to address a rapidly escalating crisis in mental health adequately.
In August 2023, the government published an interim report setting out the case for change and a strategic framework for the final strategy.
In September 2023, the government confirmed that the new Major Conditions Strategy would be published in early 2024.
Mental Health Act
We are deeply disappointed that the reform of the Mental Health Act is yet another mental health commitment abandoned by this government.
We stand with @CYPMentalHealth and 56 other organisations calling for immediate action and change: https://cypmhc.org.uk/cypmhc-response-to-the-kings-speech/
What we are calling for
- A standalone mental health strategy
- Address known risk factors of poor mental health
- Increase targeted funding for early intervention and preventative mental health support by at least £2.3 billion
- Provide investment into perinatal mental health services, midwifery, health visiting and family hubs
- National rollout of early support hubs in every local area
- When developing services, engage with voluntary and community sector organisations that understand the barriers people face in accessing services at a local level
- Develop an anti-racist approach to reduce health inequality
- Take a whole school approach to children’s mental health
- Commit to 100% coverage of Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs) in schools
- Expand MHSTs interventions beyond CBT
- Include professionals from voluntary organisations with expertise in mental health in the development, implementation and evaluation of Integrated Care Systems
- Create a strategic national oversight board to drive forward government commitments made about mental health
Everyone deserves equal life opportunities and quality and consistent support when needed.