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Mental Health Strategy Released

The Department of Health recently released its mental health strategy, which aims to establish high-level national mental health goals; provide funding for mental health; and generally increase awareness about the importance of mental health problems and mental health care. The strategy, called “No Health Without Mental Health,” will be administered by Public Health England, the new dedicated public health body, and will be delivered by local public health agencies. The program will be overseen and monitored by a parliamental subcommittee, and a Mental Health Strategy Ministerial Advisory Group will be established to advise ministers.

“No Health Without Mental Health” emphasizes early intervention and prevention and lays out six shared objectives to improve mental health outcomes. The six shared outcomes are: 1) more people will have good mental health; 2) more people with mental health problems will recover; 3) more people with mental health problems will have good physical health; 4) more people with mental health problems will have a positive experience of care and support; 5) fewer people with mental health problems will suffer avoidable harm; and 6) fewer people with mental health problems will experience stigma and discrimination. The plan also includes an investment of £400 million (US$678 million) over four years beginning in April 2011 to increase access to evidence-based psychological therapies.

The Department of Health estimates that the investment will support 3.2 million people across the country. Mental illness represents up to 23 percent of the total burden of illness in the U.K., and constitutes the largest single cause of illness.


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