In a response to the recently published report, Valuing Mental Health: how a subjective wellbeing approach can show just how much it matters, this document by the UK Council for Psychotherapy calls on government and public agencies to drive forward policy changes to improve the lives of people and communities blighted by poor mental health.
Based on the cross-party commitment to parity of esteem for mental health, UKCP is now calling on:
Government and NHS England
- to deliver real terms funding increases for mental health services year on year over the next parliament: within a protected NHS budget, mental health funding should be rising not falling.
- to commit to doubling the budget for research into mental health by 2020, as has been done for dementia.
- to consider ring-fencing a proportion of the budget of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) for new research into mental health and psychological therapy.
Clinical Commissioning Groups and GP practices
- to ensure a diverse range of psychological therapy services are commissioned to meet local needs.
- to ensure support is in place for the 50% of people with common mental health problems who do not recover through treatment in the IAPT programme but struggle to access further help.
- to investigate the case for employing psychotherapists and counsellors in GP practices: supporting GPs with their mental health caseload and ensuring high quality assessment at the start of the care pathway.
- to pilot employing private therapists to deliver alternative psychological therapies for those who have not responded to first line treatment options.
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)
- to take forward the review of its approach to guideline development in mental health which means valuing a wider range of evidence types, alongside randomised controlled
- trials, in developing future clinical guidelines;
- to launch a public consultation on the feasibility of replacing a system based on quality adjusted life years (QALYs) for evaluating the cost effectiveness of health interventions with a full welfare approach as outlined in the Valuing Mental Health report.
Psychological therapy service providers and training organisations
- to routinely gather subjective wellbeing measures (SWB) for people using psychological therapy services, and to explore the possibility of doing this with
- relatives and carers as well as patients, as outlined in the Valuing Mental Health report.
- for training organisations to ensure all training includes modules on research and outcome measurement and to promote practitioner research networks (PRNs) forgathering practice-based evidence.