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.
At Mind, we know that almost one in six workers have experienced mental health problems at work, with the cost to employers estimated at £26 billion each year. The economic and societal costs of mental health problems are estimated to be at least £105bn a year.
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.
The data paints a stark picture. In some groups of the population it is stabilising, while in other groups it is worsening. Nowhere is it improving. We can now start to see the true scale of an issue which has been stigmatised for centuries and it is deeply worrying for all.
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.
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.
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.
This World Mental Health Day is particularly exciting for Mind, as we will be welcoming the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to one of our local projects. Such a high-profile visit feels like a significant moment for mental health, a measure of how far we have come in raising the profile of mental ill health, to bring it out of the shadows and into the spotlight.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It's time politicians of all parties commit to being accurate and respectful when talking about benefits and those supported by them. It's vital they do more to understand the real lives and challenges people face by refusing to promote harmful stereotypes.
Thankfully most people never have to worry about their human rights. For many, they can seem fairly distant: something for lawyers and politicians to worry about, with little impact on our own everyday lives...
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.
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
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