Responding to today’s announcement by the Prime Minister, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Professor Sir Simon Wessely said:
“The Royal College of Psychiatrists warmly welcomes today’s announcement of just under £1billion of investment in mental health to begin to put it on an equal footing with physical health. The College has been part of NHS England’s Mental Health taskforce, which will shortly be setting out the roadmap for mental health for the next five years, and we are pleased that the Prime Minister supports some of the key priorities identified by the taskforce.
“One in four of us will suffer from a mental health problem at some point in our lives, and the Prime Minister’s vision of openness and support to all affected is refreshing and something for the UK to aspire to. Mr Cameron’s aspiration of creating mature, open dialogue around mental health, addressing stigma and taboos is something the College strongly supports – indeed, the College was the first organisation to run an anti-stigma campaign to change attitudes towards those suffering mental ill health. The time has clearly arrived for a transformation in mental health: in both the care we offer and the attitude we take.
“We have been lobbying for better mental healthcare for expectant and new mothers and are delighted to see a pledge of some £290million to offer vital support to an additional 30,000 expectant and new mothers struggling with mental health issues every year. With 1 in 5 new mothers developing a mental health problem around the time of the birth of their child, this money is vital to provide treatments and early interventions for their recovery.
“The promise of £247million to provide much needed investment in A&E liaison psychiatry services will mean that more people in crisis can expect to receive expert help when they need it most; when they are acutely ill and turn to their local A&E department. Additionally, the investment of over £400million to enable 24/7 treatment in communities will help provide safe and effective alternatives to hospital when appropriate.
“Supporting the mental health of young people is so important to the mental health of the country as a whole.”
“Put simply, more money means fewer problems. Fewer lives impacted by illness, fewer families existing rather than living, fewer constraints on the care provided.”