Primary Care Mental Health and Education

Mental Health Policy Group 2011 - 2012

[photo: Richard Layard] The programme director is Professor Lord Richard Layard.

A report published on Monday 18 June by the London School of Economics reveals the horrific scale of mental illness in Britain – and how little the NHS does about it. Mental illness is now nearly a half of all ill health suffered by people under 65 – and it is more disabling than most chronic physical disease. Yet only a quarter of those involved are in any form of treatment.

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Commenting on the Centre for Economic Research Report 'How Mental Health Loses Out in the NHS', Professor Clare Gerada, Chair of the RCGP, said:

"We live in a stressful society and the number of patients with mental health problems presenting to GPs is on an upward spiral. GPs face tremendous challenges in caring for patients with mental health problems in primary care and we welcome any development which will help us improve their care.
"Talking therapies have the potential to transform thousands of patients' lives and we applaud Lord Layard and his team for their efforts to extend the programme further. This would be a major step forward, not only for patients, but for GPs and other health professionals working in mental health. "GPs must have access to a range of talking therapies, from counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy to longer term psychotherapies, for the wide range of conditions that we see in our consulting rooms."

An excellent report from the LSE - but it is a pity it even has to be written. Their two previous papers on this issue should have been political 'game-changers'.

See my blog for local experience at the grassroots. I will applaud, my Lord, when you win this game, set and match.

What seems to be lacking is:-

- subsidised participatory education for all on how to maintain mental health. It can be provided cheaply on the internet. 

- recognition that mental health often follows participation in the work and love of life

- redesign of our society to incorporate this universal need.

- opportunities to take part in the work of institutions designed to maintain mental and spiritual health. 

     Churches may need to think more deeply about their function and redesign their procedures.

Thanks Alick

It would be much better understanding wellbeing and what keeps us mentally healthy rather than having to rely on therapies to patch us up because our society does not. We need both.



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