Improving care in your community for mental health
Digital team's blog
Today, Rethink Mental Illness are holding an event in parliament for group of MPs from all parties to explain what the new NHS Long-Term Plan means for mental health.
Last month, a new strategy to improve mental health services was published by NHS England. We were delighted that this plan responded to concerns voiced by Rethink Mental Illness that people who are most unwell were waiting the longest for care.
A poll of over 1,600 people severely affected by mental illness showed countless stories of extremely long waiting times for treatment, with people on average waiting 14 weeks for an assessment.
Many people told us that when they were seen by a professional, they were told they couldn’t have the treatment they were entitled to, such as dialectical behavioural therapy.
We heard how when people reached crisis point, only a quarter felt they received a timely and compassionate response from a trained professional.
And when one person told us that after they tried to take their life, they did not hear from their community mental health team for a month - despite repeatedly phoning them.
The current system isn’t working for people. However there is good news. The NHS Long Term Plan was published last month and is a once in a lifetime opportunity to stop these experiences from happening. But this will only happen if local NHS commissioners and services deliver everything that is promised. There is a big role for MPs in helping ensure this happens.
So what will we be telling MPs, including the Minister for Mental Health Jackie Doyle-Price, today?
Get to know the ABCs for mental health community care:
A is for access – trialling 4-week waiting times for community mental health teams in some areas, and rolling out a waiting time standard across the country.
B is for broader treatments – offering more psychological therapies, especially care that considers how trauma affects people’s mental health.
C is for crisis care – when you’re having a mental health crisis, the NHS plans to bring your care back into the community, using safe havens and crisis cafes.
We need your help to spread the word – share the ABC card with your MP on Twitter to make sure they know what needs to change in community mental health care.