New Horizons, which is the 10 year plan for Mental Health strategies and plans is finally published today after a long gestation period of consultations. It is the successor to the National Service Framework for Mental Health which covered the periods between 1999 – 2009 so just about makes it out by the end of the year.
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There has been much discussion about its contents, none of which are likely to be a surprise but it is hoped that the renewed focus can reinvigorate the service delivery although there is little appetite for new government strategies and ideas, this has been expected for a long while.
It is thought that the report will focus on prevention and with that in mind, the Guardian reported yesterday that additional funds will be available for funding research in the fields of mental health – in fact, a tripling of funds from £50m to £150m per year.
The other focus is on wellbeing and general mental and physical wellbeing being a way to prevent mental ill health developing further. This may mean more focus on tackling mental health at earlier stages through ‘talking therapies’, indeed, the BBC reports
The 10-year strategy is expected to call for better identification of those most at risk and wider access to psychological therapies for patients.
I don’t really expect any additional surprises alongside what we already know from the public consultation documents but it does represent an important move in the focus of mental health services over the next decade.