Mental health network

Prevention green paper is a positive step towards government-wide approach but role of supported housing needs greater focus

Sean Duggan

Responding to publication of the Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s consultation, Sean Duggan, chief executive of the Mental Health Network, which is part of the NHS Confederation, said:

“Securing parity of esteem for mental health needs a government-wide approach with preventing illness at its heart. The green paper, with initiatives such as the Every Mind Matters campaign, is a positive step towards that. 

“It is vital that we educate people about their mental health and improve mental health literacy for all, but we must also make sure that services are accessible to the people who need them. This will mean delivering on the promises of the Long Term Plan and ensuring there is a workforce ready to facilitate them.

“While there was much to take reassurance from in the green paper, we would have liked to see a greater focus on the important role of supported housing in keeping people living in the community at the most vulnerable moments of their lives. For this we need a long term social care settlement. 

“People with severe mental illness on average live significantly shorter lives, in part due to factors including smoking and obesity. These people need well-funded, targeted support to improve their physical health and reduce this unacceptable inequality.”


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