Mental Health Treatment: All the right things being said, no action.

Without a change of mindset and proper funding put in place parity legislations between mental and physical health are not enough.

In the aftermath of the horrific plane crash in the Alps it is clear that attitudes towards mental health seem to have taken a step backward according to the Guardian. A recent blog from Kayleigh Glinn at Chrysalis touched on this also after the shocking, negative and uninformed headlines emerged across the media.

In general the main political party leaders have been trying to outdo each other in offering the best ways to improve mental health services in the UK. All parties have shown commitment to the Five Year Forward View which links social and health, care shifts the care to community care and bridges the divide between mental and physical health.

Progress has been made and services are improving, it might be slow but there are signs of change. Access standards and waiting time regulation has been introduced. There has also been the introduction of the crisis care concordat meaning that every region in England has a mental health crisis team and their patients care is treated with the same urgency as physical emergencies.

Conversations around mental health have been happening and there is a louder voice in the public now for people suffering with mental health but there really is still a long way to go in terms of attitude of the everyday man, especially in light of damming reports such as ‘Depressed Killer’ reported in The Sun last week.

The first issue the Guardian note is the money: hate to say it but without the financial backing there will be no changes. All political parties have emphasised the need for economic balance for the country. This is no doubt important but does this mean there will be any money to put into this service?

Money is one side of the battle – the other is accountability. Recently NHS England issued guidance for clinical commissioning groups (CCG) stating that it expects them to increase their spending on mental health in real terms. A while later when a room full of mental health chief executives and finance officers was asked whether they anticipate their local CCG making the increase in spend there was only three people who raised their hands.

It is not enough to stand up once, publicly to declare legislations, the minds and attitudes of all health professionals, from the secretary of state to the GP to the A&E staff to the community support worker need to be changed. Parity of care needs embedded in everyone. The ultimate goal is for people with mental health problems to be treated with the same respects and dignity as those with a physical problem.