Mental health policy
Mental health has often been considered the 'Cindarella' of the health service. It was often overlooked and did not attract the same level of funding as other areas of the health services.
A lot has changed in recent years. There has been a move away from the old 'asylums'. The aim is now to look after people in the 'community'. There was also a recognition that mental health services had to develop and change. A National Service Framework for Mental Health was published. This directed mental health services towards new approaches. New teams were established to treat people experiencing their first episode of psychosis, more people were being treated at home rather than in hospital.
It should also be remembered that most people who experience a problem with their mental health never see a psychiatrist or specialist. Most patients are seen by their local GP, or someone else at their local practice. There is now a drive towards offering people more support at this 'primary' level. The Government is conducting trials in Doncaster and London to see whether more therapy can be provided at this level. If the trials are successful, this could see a big change in the way people view mental health, and how they get help. Of course, it is important that deaf people are not excluded from these changes.
The links below cover two of the key pieces of legislation/guidance relating to mental health.
- Mental Health Act 1983
- National Service Framework for Mental Health
- Mental health and social exclusion