15 / 2 / 2017 9.35am
To mark one year on from the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health, the six chief executives of the mental health policy group, which includes the Mental Health Network's Sean Duggan, had a letter published in The Times. The letter called for funding to reach the front line to ensure the implementation of the plan was a success. The full letter text is below and the letter can be accessed online here
Letter to The Times
Sir, Today marks one year since the publication of the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health, the long overdue road map to better mental health services in England. In that time we have been encouraged by the initial progress and promises of change from the prime minister, who described the “burning injustice” of the current state of affairs.
But we are only at the start of what needs to be a long-term commitment to changing the way we see and respond to mental health. Change is happening — for example, some areas have hugely improved access to talking therapies, perinatal psychiatry and child eating disorders. Yet some local areas are not meeting targets (61 per cent in the case of talking therapies), leaving people facing long waiting lists and more likely to reach crisis point. The extra £1 billion pledged by the government to implement the road map has yet to reach the front line: the prime minister and NHS bodies need to ensure that it does over the next four years. Until everyone can get the mental health support they need at the point they need it, this job is not done.
Paul Farmer, CEO, Mind; Sarah Hughes, CEO, Centre for Mental Health; Professor Sir Simon Wessely, president, Royal College of Psychiatrists; Mark Winstanley, CEO, Rethink Mental Illness; Sean Duggan, CEO, Mental Health Network; Jenny Edwards, CEO, Mental Health Foundation