Starting today: The future of mental health services

Starting today MHFThe Mental Health Foundation has published the final report from its year-long Inquiry into the future of mental health services. The report, ‘Starting today’, sets out some key messages as to what mental health services need to do in order to ensure that they are ready to address the mental health needs of the UK population in 20-30 years’ time.

You can find the report here: www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/starting-today-future-of-mental-health-services/

The Inquiry looked at certain key demographic and societal factors which will impact on future mental health services and identified six key themes that mental health services will need to address to become fit for purpose for the 21st century:

Personalising services

Greater personalisation of services and the engagement of patients and their carers and families as equal partners in decisions about care and service provision.

Integrated care

Increased integration driven by committed local leaders between different parts of mental health services; between physical and mental health care; and between health and social care. This will need a new approach to training health and social care staff, and a change in culture and attitudes.

Life span issues

Services that are designed to address an individual’s mental health, and mental health needs, across the life span from infancy to old age.

Workforce development

Shared training across disciplines from the start of people’s careers and in continuing professional development, moving psychiatry into community and primary care settings, and flexibility for staff to develop and move careers across disciplines.

Research and new technologies

Better funded research, into both clinical and social interventions to support people with mental health problems, alongside a commitment to ensure equality of access to the benefits of new technologies.

Public mental health

A need for mental health to be treated as a core public health issue, so that it will be as normal for everyone to look after their mental health as it is to look after their physical health and a public health workforce that sees mental health as one of its core responsibilities.

If you have any comments or questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch. You can contact Emily Wooster, our Policy Manager, at ewooster@mentalhealth.org.uk<mailto:ewooster@mentalhealth.org.uk> or on 020 7803 1106.