Dr. Felix Davies responds to ‘Closing the Gap: Priorities for essential change in mental health’

News item posted: 17 March 2017

In response to the publication of 'Closing the Gap: Priorities for essential change in mental health', outlined today by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Dr. Felix Davies, Managing Director for Mental Health Services at Turning Point said;

"It is a positive step forward that the Deputy Prime Minister is talking about mental health and bringing attention to this issue which affects such a significant number of people across the country.

The report once again highlights the vital importance of promoting parity in the way mental health and physical health services are designed and delivered. This parity must be met in a variety of ways, including through training, funding, information and prioritisation by commissioners. In the same way that people with physical health problems have their needs routinely met, access to high quality mental health service should also be routine for everyone, unlike the current situation where only a quarter of people with mental health problems receive a service.

Continuing to address stigma and discrimination is key to this, but so is local action on the ground - commissioners need to embed parity of esteem between physical and mental health in their strategies and actions, and ideally go a step further and commission holistic, integrated services that provide whole-person treatment.

Although parity is often discussed in the context of mental health, it is just as important to address the inequalities that exist for all groups protected under the Equality Act. Parity must also extend to service users, carers and staff so that all participants within the care and support system benefit from high quality services wherever they are, whatever they need them for."