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Mental Health Strategy to transform health and wellbeing

New plans to transform the mental health and well-being of the nation and ensure – for the first time – that mental health is given the same importance as the nation’s physical health, were announced today by the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg and Andrew Lansley and Paul Burstow from the Department of Health.


The No health without mental health strategy outlines how a new emphasis on early intervention and prevention will help tackle the underlying causes of mental ill-health. It sets out how the Government will work with the NHS, local government and the third sector to help people recover and challenge stigma.


Central to these plans is an additional investment of around £400 million to improve access to modern, evidence-based psychological therapies over the next four years.


This will extend the current programme available to offer personalised support to 3.2 million people across the country, making available a choice of psychological therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Counselling for Depression, and Interpersonal Psychotherapy and ensuring access for anyone who needs it.


At least one in four people experience a mental health problem at some point in their life and mental ill-health represents up to 23% of the total burden of ill health in the UK - the largest single cause of illness.


Half of those with mental health problems first experience symptoms before the age of 14 and three-quarters before their mid twenties. Depression is also the most common mental health problem in people aged over 65, with 13-16% having sufficiently severe depression to require treatment.


[quote top=The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:] The evidence is clear: mental health needs to be addressed with the same urgency as physical health. We need to end the stigma attached to mental illness, to set an example by talking about the issue openly and candidly and ensure everyone can access the support and information they need.[/quote]


He carried on to say: “The strategy today shows how we will put people at the heart of everything we do, from a new focus on early intervention to increased funding for psychological therapy, so that everyone has a fair opportunity to get their lives back on track.”


Care Services Minister, Paul Burstow said “For too long mental health has been the poor relation in the NHS. Yet we know that good mental health and resilience are fundamental to our physical health, our relationships, our education, our work and to achieving our potential.


“What this strategy does is ensure that modern, evidence-based therapies are available for all who need them. Working with others, the Government is determined to promote good mental health and wellbeing and challenge the stigma and discrimination that still affects so many people with mental health problems today.