What is most important to someone with a mental health problem? The same things which are as important to everyone else: a decent place to live, a job, good quality relationships.
That is what we heard from the 20,000 people who contributed to our Mental Health Forward View.
It is, of course, no secret that relationships play an important role in our health and wellbeing. Social isolation is a risk factor for poor mental health, and can make existing mental health problems worse.
Health services have a role to play in supporting people within them to maintain and build their relationships – for mental health services particularly every person should be able to say: “Services understand the importance to me of having friends, opportunities and close relationships.”
Again, this seems obvious – but if the only option for treatment is far from home then relationships are harder to maintain, and likewise if physical and mental health services are not integrated people spend all their time at health appointments.