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Whole government signs up to mental health and wellbeing

Posted on 07, December 2009

For the first time, the whole of government has today committed to promote whole-population mental wellbeing, and to make life better for people with mental health problems. The Future Vision Coalition, of which Together is a part, welcomes this move.

Its New Horizons strategy brings with it a new set of ambitions for the next 10 years of mental health policy in England. The Future Vision Coalition particularly welcomes the pledge within it to develop services that enable people with mental health problems to recover their lives on their own terms. We also welcome the strong focus on intervening early and on age-appropriate, rather than age dependent services.

The test now for the whole of government is whether it can pull together to deliver the important promises made in the strategy. With public finances tight, there has never been a better time to improve the quality of mental health care and support and to do more to promote good mental health.

We therefore call on government to put its words into action, for example by implementing the Bradley Report and the Perkins Review; by developing a robust public mental health strategy; and by improving the links between mental and physical health care.

Too often, promoting good mental health and improving mental health services have been seen as opposing priorities. New Horizons acknowledges that in fact we need to do both. We need to finish the job of building better mental health care for all who need it but we also need to take action to improve mental wellbeing for all, especially those most at risk of significant ill health now and in later life.