Report finds huge pressures on NHS mental health services and calls for more funding.

The King’s Fund has published a briefing that looks at current pressures on NHS mental health services.

In response, Nicky Lidbetter, Chief Officer of Self Help, said:

“This report gives us an insight in to the current state of NHS mental health services. The Government has expressed its commitment to achieving parity of esteem between physical and mental health issues, but it’s apparent that there is still a large gap between this aspiration and the day-to-day reality for many.

In an effort to put mental health on an equal footing with physical health, it’s important to consider that getting better mental health services does not always mean spending more money, but instead we should use the resources available to commission services that people actually want and need.

I was disappointed to see that only 14% of patients had reported receiving appropriate care in a crisis. These findings show a need for more services like The Sanctuary (24-hour mental health crisis support that has peer-support at its centre for those experiencing difficulties such as panic attacks and suicidal thoughts) which can play a vital role in helping people with common mental health difficulties cope when they are in crisis.

So far, we have been able to support 1500 people throughout the North West at a time of crisis, by advocating, what Self Help refer to as, the ‘stepped care model of mental health crisis provision’. This involves the right intensity of crisis service for each type of crisis prevention, as not all situations require a blue light and A&E response.

If the Sanctuary model was more widely adopted, we could help support the more vulnerable people who need help overnight and out of regular ‘office hours’. It is my belief that every town and city in this country should have a Sanctuary facility.”

To find out more about The Sanctuary click here.