The costs of mental health problems to the economy in England have recently been estimated at a massive £105 billion, and treatment costs are expected to double in the next 20 years. It is clear that something has to be done in order to control this worsening situation.
Earlier this week, the Government published the Mental Health Implementation Framework (the Framework), which sets out what organisations can do to achieve the six high-level objectives of the mental health strategy No Health Without Mental Health, which aims to achieve parity of esteem between mental and physical health services. It was co-produced with five leading mental health organisations (Centre for Mental Health, Mind, Mental Health Network – NHS Confederation, Rethink Mental Illness, Turning Point).
The six high-level of objectives of the mental health strategy are:
- More people will have good mental health.
- More people with mental health problems will recover.
- More people with mental health problems will have good physical health.
- More people will have a positive experience of care and support.
- Fewer people will suffer avoidable harm.
- Fewer people will experience stigma and discrimination.
Now the Government has announced three key steps that can be taken by organisations in order to reduce the negative impact of mental illness in terms of unnecessary costs and loss of productivity:
- Make this year the ‘Time to Change’: Make a public commitment by signing their organisations up to the ‘Time to Change’ campaign to end mental health discrimination.
- Get some ‘First Aid’ training in mental health: Most organisations have an employee trained in first aid. Appointing someone as a mental health expert for staff or training a number of people in awareness would make a huge difference. Training is available from a variety of organisations.
- Call for help: Use the free services offered by the Health for Work Adviceline (call 0800 0 77 88 44) to speak to an occupational health professional.
- New Public Health Responsibility Deal (Responsibility Deal) mental health pledge (health4work.nhs.uk)
- Nick Clegg sets out mental health plan (independent.co.uk)
- Employers urged to take 3 steps to improve mental health (mediacentre.dh.gov.uk)