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The Chairman of the Mental Health Taskforce told the Health and Innovation Expo 2015 conference “we are at the start of a new era for mental health.”
As he launched the Mental Health Taskforce Engagement Report at the event in Manchester, Paul Farmer, CEO of charity Mind and Taskforce Chair, said he was delighted to have had more than 20,000 responses from the public, patients and NHS professionals.
He said three major themes had been identified from the feedback and they were: prevention, access and quality.
“The Taskforce has heard from 20,000 people and demonstrated that mental health is at the top of the political and economic agenda. This is the start of a new era for mental health and we need all of your support to help us transform people’s lives.”
The NHS Expo panel, which included Lord Victor Adebowale and Paul Burstow, former minister of state with responsibility for mental health, discussed a wide range of aspects around mental health care.
Isaac Samuels gave the patient view saying: “People don’t live in silos and institutions. I think sometimes we listen but we don’t hear. What I want to invite people to do is think about the people behind the process.”
Lord Adebowale said: “We know for every month someone is unemployed their mental health deteriorates.”
He said each year there was a focus on mental health but that it did not always filter down to the service design or commissioning.
“It’s not just an NHS England problem,” he said. “The challenge for NHS England is to make that message real.
“As someone said to me the other day: you can either complain about the dark or you can go and light the candle.”