Rethink Mental Illness responds to 10-year mental health plan announcement

12 April 2022

The government has today announced a new 10-year plan to improve mental health, which will aim to 'level up mental health across the country and put mental and physical health on an equal footing.'

It has launched a call-for-evidence and is encouraging responses from the general public, people with lived experience of mental health conditions and those who support people experiencing mental ill-health. 

Mark Winstanley, Chief Executive, Rethink Mental Illness, said:

“The scale of the unfolding mental health crisis demands a cross-government plan. While access to the right treatment at the right time remains critical, people’s mental health is dependent on so many other factors including access to good employment, housing, social connectedness and support with finances. Only by addressing these issues, across government departments and beyond the NHS, will we successfully challenge the drivers of poor mental health and remove roadblocks that often inhibit recovery.

“Rethink Mental Illness has long been calling for a new approach and we’re delighted to see the new 10-year mental health plan consultation, published today. It's particularly welcome that the new plan acknowledges the disparities in mental health. The risk of developing mental illness is higher, for example, for people facing financial hardship or who have experienced trauma; there are inequalities by ethnicity, age, sexuality and gender. We expect to see concrete steps being taken to address this.

“Sadly, the vision as set out, even accounting for some huge progress recently in transforming community mental health care, is a great distance from the current reality for many people living with mental illness. Anyone who has struggled to access social care, been poorly treated by the welfare system, or is anxious about the unprecedented rise in the cost of living, will know that we have a long way to go. And we need to see real improvements in our overwhelmed health and social care system now, alongside this plan for the future.

“Every part of society needs to work together to improve people’s quality of life. We look forward to working with people with lived experience of mental illness to respond to the proposals published today.”

You can respond to the consultation on the 10-year mental health plan until 5 July.