profile image

Paul Farmer


Chief Executive of the mental health charity Mind

A NHS Workforce Plan Is Essential To Transforming Mental Health Services

This plan takes us to 2021, but what happens after that? As the misunderstanding surrounding mental health dissipates, and awareness increases, thanks in large part to anti-stigma movements such as Time to Change, jointly run by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, we will no doubt see more and more people identify, acknowledge and seek help for their own mental health. This is hugely positive, as it normalises mental health. However, it means that inevitably, demand for mental health services will continue to rise.
01/08/2017 09:14 BST

Less Than Half Of GPs Train In Mental Health

For most of us, our local GP practice is the first place we go when we're unwell - whether it's related to our physical or mental health. That's why it's surprising to learn that less than half (46 per cent) of trainee GPs in England undertook a training placement in a mental health setting in 2015, according to data obtained from Mind.
01/11/2016 16:36 GMT

Cutting Disability Benefits by £30 Per Week Won't Help People Into Work

Removing £30 a week is a short-sighted cost-cutting move that will only backfire, causing a huge deal of extra anxiety as well as financial problems, with the potential that people are pushed even further from work than previously. We need a supportive, personalised benefits system that works with people, not against them.
24/02/2016 08:05 GMT

Our Report Makes Clear - Mental Health Care Needs to Be Transfomed

For too long, people with mental health problems have had to put up with patchy services. NHS mental health services have been underfunded for decades and now, as demand for services rises, the signs of strain are obvious. Unsurprisingly, then, the three big priorities that came out of the consultation were: access to the right care, at the right time, in the right place; better integration of mental health and physical health services so that people are treated as a whole person regardless of where in the NHS they are being treated; and prevention, so that we help to stop people developing mental health problems in the first place.
15/02/2016 19:41 GMT

Big Boys Don't Cry

We need to get to the point that men feel as at ease talking about their mental health as they would a broken arm. We need to help men equate seeking help not with weakness, but with doing something that shows courage and strength. It is, after all, profoundly brave to face up to something as stigmatised as a mental health problem. Ultimately, we have to acknowledge that big boys can and do cry. And that's okay.
02/11/2015 17:25 GMT

Mixed Bag for Mental Health Since May's Election

We want to see the Government take a more holistic view to prevent people becoming unwell in the first place and support people to make ends meet when they're not currently able to work. Mental health is a key issue for all politicians. With the comprehensive spending review approaching, now's the time to give mental health the investment it deserves.
14/08/2015 17:07 BST

No Call for Help Should Go Unanswered

We hope that the CQC report will be the start of a period of real change for mental health services. Now is the time that national and local commissioners must make mental health a priority and put forward the investment that is required for the future.
12/06/2015 17:41 BST

It's Time for a New Approach to Help People With Mental Health Problems Into Work

There is a significant prize here for all concerned. For people with mental health problems, a chance to find appropriate work in a supportive workplace; for employers, the opportunity to support the mental health of all staff; and for the wider economy, the potential to deliver a significant change to our society.
11/12/2014 05:48 GMT

Why Charities Need to Understand the Zoella Phenomenon

Messages about sensitive subjects are infinitely more powerful when they come directly from people - this is the key to Zoella's success and why she fits so well with our approach. The voices of people with experience of mental problems, are at the core of everything Mind does.
04/12/2014 12:37 GMT

Time for a Fresh Approach to Disability Benefits

Whoever forms the next Government must acknowledge and tackle the many barriers people with mental health problems face in finding and retaining a job. The benefits system is very complex and we often hear how people struggle to navigate it, so we also need to ensure such individuals can access advice and support to help them.
25/06/2014 17:39 BST

Bringing Mental Health Out of the Shadows

As the stigma recedes, the true unmet need for mental health services is beginning to show. Demand for talking treatments is outstripping supply, despite significant investment. The need to help people with mental health problems to find and stay in work is becoming increasingly apparent.
20/01/2014 16:59 GMT

Why We Need to Talk About Suicide

Stephen Fry is in the news today after he talks in an interview about a suicide attempt last year. He said: "Now, you may say, how can anyone who has got it all be so stupid as to want to end it all? That's the point, there is no 'why?', it's not the right question. There's no reason." So, how can you start the conversation if you are worried about someone?
06/06/2013 18:27 BST