A government that recognises how mental health affects all areas of our lives is something Rethink Mental Illness fights for. If the government planned to improve the nation’s mental health across all departments, and not just rely on the NHS, life would be easier for people living with mental illness.

10-Year Mental Health Plan

In April 2022 the government announced a 10-year plan to “level up mental health across the country and put mental and physical health on an equal footing.” 

We responded enthusiastically to the news and spent nearly a year taking steps to ensure the 10-year mental health plan would meet the needs of people living with mental illness.

Sudden shelving of the 10-year plan  

In January 2023 the Government shelved its 10-year plan for mental health.  

We were incredibly disappointed that the decision represented a huge failure to prioritise the mental health of people in this country at a time when demand for support has never been higher.  

The government asked us, and like-minded organisations, to be ambitious in our response as to how a 10-year plan could improve the mental health of a nation. Shelving it after less than a year showed a disregard to their own advice and the mental health landscape. 

The Major Conditions Strategy

Too narrow, but a move in the right direction 

Off the back of shelving their 10-year plan, the government announced new shorter-term solution called the Major Conditions Strategy 

The strategy aims to address ill-health and early mortality in England. It will look at mental health alongside a number of health conditions including cancer, strokes and diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases, dementia, and musculoskeletal disorders.  

This reflects the fact that many people live with more than one condition, and that the conditions may be linked. For example, living with a serious physical condition can affect someone’s mental health, and vice-versa. 

Kirsten from our policy team wrote a blog outlining the new proposals, what it might mean in terms for people living with mental illness, and how, while it’s a start, it’s not enough.