Valuing mental health conference report: A change of perspective in Kent, Surrey and Sussex

On Tuesday 6 May 2014 South East Coast Strategic Clinical Network for Mental Health, Dementia and Neurological Conditions and NHS England hosted a conference at Sofitel Gatwick Airport to discuss ways to achieve parity of esteem between mental and physical health in Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

The objectives of the event were:

  • To bring together patients, the public, healthcare professionals, third sector organisations and other partners in order to rethink the way we address mental health problems in the region and to encourage integrated working in the delivery of mental health services, based around an understanding of the underlying causes of mental ill health and the needs of patients and their carers.
  • To embed the need to achieve ‘parity of esteem’ for mental health so delegates can collectively contribute to achieving this goal.
  • To embed the need to treat individuals in a more holistic way so delegates can apply this to their work.
  • To generate debate on the main challenges and ideas for the development of strategies for improving mental health in order to support the consistent delivery of the highest quality care for patients across Kent, Surrey and Sussex.    At the conference, delegates were specifically asked to contribute their views on six key principles that those responsible for commissioning health services across Kent, Surrey and Sussex should take in to account when developing services, in order to help achieve parity of esteem between mental health and physical health.
  • To give delegates the opportunity to share and learn from best practice and innovation in the delivery of mental health services.

The Mental health conference report highlights the outcomes of the event and the six principles delegates agreed were important in order to help ensure a focus on mental health amongst those who commission services.

Some of the speaker presentations from the day are now available below: