20th January 2014
Response to Government Mental Health Action Plan
The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg launched a Government Action Plan for Mental Health today. The plan follows on from the Mental Health Strategy, launched in 2011, and sets out 25 key mental health priorities.
The British Psychoanalytic Council is pleased to see the Government renewing its commitment to mental health. The Action Plan spells out what the government hopes to achieve prior to the next general election and signals a change in gear for the delivery of mental health services.
Gary Fereday, Chief Executive of the British Psychoanalytic Council, said: “We welcome the Government aim for psychological therapies to help over 900,000 people every year and are delighted that the Department of Health is exploring how psychological therapies can help people with severe mental illness and personality disorders. Last November’s We Still Need to Talk report by the We Need To Talk Coalition highlighted Devon’s Specialist Personality Disorder Service, which offers a variety of effective psychoanalytic treatments to people with severe and complex personality disorder who would otherwise be placed in out-of-county secure units because of their high risk of suicide.
We are also aware from a survey we carried out with the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy, however, that psychotherapy services have been under threat on the NHS. Among its results, our survey found that posts and services are being downgraded, that our member practitioners are being relied upon to deal with increasingly complex cases while services are being decommissioned, and that patients are having to wait longer to receive psychotherapy. We therefore hope that the Government Action Plan heralds the end of such damage to non-IAPT psychotherapy services, which are often best placed to help those most in need.
We also welcome the announcement of a national Mental Health Intelligence Network and hope that it will include information on the full breadth of available psychological therapy services.
It is also good to see the Government looking into ways to overcome inequalities around service usage. We are aware from our own research that people from black and minority ethnic communities all too often are less likely to access psychological therapies.”