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Groundbreaking NHS recommendations pave the way for a mental health revolution

By Yousif Farah

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Mental health patients and charities including The Mental Health Foundation, Mind and Recovery Focus have all welcomed an announcement by NHS England committing them to the biggest transformation of mental health care across the NHS in a generation.

The announcement which was made yesterday came in response to a final report carried out by The Mental Health Independent taskforce and chaired by the Chief Executive of Mind Paul Farmer. In the report it is revealed that one in four of us will experience a mental health problem in their life time and that the cost of mental ill health to the economy is 105 billion a year.

The taskforce had made few recommendations which have been accepted by the NHS, among the recommendations investing over £1bn a year of additional funding in NHS care by 2020/21 in order to reach one million more people. For a full list of the recommendations please visit NHS England.

Paul Farmer said: “This is a landmark moment for mental health care in this country, a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform services and support for people with mental health problems.”

The Mental Health Foundation believes that the latest NHS commitment marks a pivotal moment in the fight for a mentally healthier nation.

Jenny Edwards CBE, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation said:

“The Mental Health Foundation has been calling for a greater focus on prevention and we are delighted that this is clearly reflected in the report”

This groundbreaking report comes less than a week after the release of a similar independent commission-led report chaired by former chief executive of the NHS Lord Crisp and examining the state of acute psychiatric care in the country.

Lord Crisp concluded that sending patients to receive treatments far-away from their communities and homes was a “potentially dangerous” practice which needs to stop also estimated that every month 500 patients have to travel more than 31 miles and sometimes as far as 100 miles to receive acute treatment in psychiatric wards due to the severe shortage in beds. They recommended an end to the practice by October of next year.

In the report Lord Crisp says:

“It is time to end the difference in standards between mental and physical illness” said Lord Crisp.

“People with severe mental illnesses need to find care just as quickly as people suffering from physical illness - and they shouldn’t have to travel long distances too.”

The commission believes the solution to the problem lies in more investment in home-based treatment and a greater role for patients and carers in the service they use.

Poached Creative works closely with many organisations concerned with mental health patients and their wellbeing providing us with an insight on how pivotal mental wellbeing is to patients, their relatives and the community.

 Lately we have been collaborating with Mental Snapp which is a social enterprise endeavouring to tackle the stigma surrounding mental illnesses through a video app that enables mental health service users to tell their own stories by recording short video updates on their mental health, which become a part of their NHS health record.

We have also trained many people who have experienced mental ill health assisting them with finding employment and stability in their lives.

Our employees, trainees and volunteers have contributed many articles pertinent to mental health to our blog, including blogs describing their own struggle with mental illness.