As you may be aware, the government is currently consulting on a fresh ten year strategy called ‘New Horizons’, which sets out a vision for mental health over the next ten years. ‘New Horizons’ will replace the current ‘Mental Health National Service Framework’, created in 1999 and coming to the end of its lifespan.
The key themes of New Horizons are:
Prevention and public mental health – recognising the need to prevent as well as treat mental health problems and promote mental health and well-being
Stigma – strengthening focus on social inclusion and tackling stigma and discrimination wherever they occur
Early intervention – expanding the principle of early intervention to improve long-term outcomes
Personalised care – ensuring that care is based on individuals’ needs and wishes, leading to recovery
Multi-agency commissioning / collaboration – working to achieve a joint approach between local authorities, the NHS and others, mirrored by cross-government collaboration
Innovation – seeking out new and dynamic ways to achieve objectives based on research and new technologies
Value for money – delivering cost-effective and innovative services in a period of recession
Strengthening transition – improving the often difficult transition from child and adolescent mental health services to adult services, for those with continuing needs.
The full consultation document (long), an executive summary (shorter), and an easy-read version (shorter still) can all be accessed on the Department of Health’s website at http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Consultations/Liveconsultations/DH_103144.
Until October 15th you have the chance to respond directly to the Department of Health’s plans by completing their online questionnaire, available at http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Healthcare/Mentalhealth/NewHorizons/index.htm (located at the bottom in the 'What Do You Think?' section).