Closing the Mental Health Care Treatment Gap

According to the Health Survey for England 2014, 26% of adults have been diagnosed with at least one mental health condition during their lifetime – with a further 18% reporting that they experienced mental health issues without a diagnosis. In January 2017, the Prime Minister Theresa May set out her personal commitment to tackling the ‘unacceptable stigma’ of mental health and transforming children’s mental health.

Professor Paul Burstow sets out the mental health challenge and why a new paradigm is urgently needed.

But can mental distress and mental illness be tackled simply by improving access to treatment? Is it even possible to scale up treatment to meet growing need? What needs to happen to prevent mental distress and how can we approach this differently? Those are some of the questions the University of Birmingham Policy Commission has been established to examine.

Led by Professor The Rt Hon Paul Burstow, former Minister of State for Care Services, the University of Birmingham’s Mental Health Policy Commission sets out ambitious aims in its terms of reference to change the face of how we tackle mental illness looking beyond treatment to explore the evidence base for approaches that promote mental health and wellbeing. The Commission is seeking evidence on innovative approaches that can support a truly different approach.

Launching in 2017, with a call for evidence, the Commission will seek evidence from across the four home nations and internationally, taking into account the views of service users, families, communities, practitioners and policy makers. The Commission will produce a series of recommendations that aim to improve our mental wellbeing as a society and promote individual and community resilience. By working with policy makers and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the Commission will seek support to implement these recommendations, which will provide a strategic framework for mental health for the 21st Century. The Commission is committed to reducing stigma and identifying the most promising approaches to reduce the numbers of people experiencing mental distress. We welcome your views and invite you to submit evidence to the Commission by 3 March 2017.

If you would like to find out more, please contact us for further details.