Written submission to the Department of Health and Social Care’s Mental health and wellbeing plan consultation
• We welcome the Department of Health and Social Care’s (DHSC) commitment to developing a new cross-government mental health plan and the potential for it to bring a strategic and systemic approach to mental health policy and delivery over the next 10 years.
• We have been pleased to support the broad consultation exercise underpinning the development of the plan and welcome the acknowledgement that the plan will consider the full range of mental health need. It is critical for national policy to take a multi-pronged approach given the high levels of demand and acuity currently seen in mental health services which is projected to continue for some time. This need has become even greater post pandemic and as the country contends with a cost of living crisis that is expected to be deep and prolonged.
• The plan needs to be radical, bold and transformational, with a focus on how to shift resources upstream and deliver a far more proactive and holistic model of health care to help prevent people developing mental ill health and enables early access to support for those that do.
• Support for children and young people must be an absolute priority. The plan needs to ensure whole system solutions are put in place across schools, children’s services and other settings, with an increased focus on prevention and early intervention along with increased support in schools and colleges to meet needs now, and prevent a mental health epidemic in future years.
• We welcome DHSC’s intention to focus on redressing disparities in the new plan, with targeted commitments to reduce differences in prevalence, and improve equity in service access and life outcomes.