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IoP research impacts on policy and patients

2 February 2011 

IoP research impacts on policy and patients research from the

Institute of Psychiatry at King's has made a major contribution to the Government's new Mental Health Outcomes Strategy, published today.

In the ‘No Health Without Mental Health Strategy’ £400M is pledged to extend access to psychological therapies over the next four years, following the success of the first phase of the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme. Professor David Clark at King’s is the national clinical advisor for the programme and has helped ensure that it delivers quality therapy that achieves results in line with those expected from research undertaken at the IoP and elsewhere.

The Strategy aims to 'transform the mental health and well-being of the nation' and outlines how a new emphasis on early intervention and prevention will help tackle the underlying causes of mental ill-health.

It sets out how the Government will work with the NHS, local government and the third sector to help people recover and challenge stigma, to ensure that mental health is given the same importance as the nation's physical health. It pledges to work in partnership with the Time to Change programme, evaluated and shown to have had a range of positive outcomes in its first year, in research led by Dr Claire Henderson and Professor Graham Thornicroft at the IoP.

Professor Shitij Kapur, Dean of the IoP at King's said: "We welcome the new strategy and the Government's commitment to improving mental health.   It is a tribute to Professors Clark and Thornicroft and their teams, and indeed the wider IoP community, that research undertaken here has such impact on policy and ultimately more patients."

The strategy commits to expand provision of psychological therapies to children and young people, older people, people with long-term physical health problems, those with medically unexplained symptoms and those with serious mental illness.

Professor Kapur adds: “The emphasis on prevention and early intervention is particularly welcome but we must keep in mind that seeking better outcomes is not a destination but a journey. So along with investments in these treatments we hope the system will continue its investment in new research so that we and others can deliver the next generation of innovation.”

At least one in four people experience a mental health problem at some point in their life and mental ill-health represents up to 23% of the total burden of ill health in the UK - the largest single cause of illness.

The Government's priorities are summarised in six main objectives:

  • more people will have good mental health;
  • more people with mental health problems will recover;
  • more people with mental health problems will have good physical health;
  • more people with mental health problems will have a positive experience of care and support;
  • fewer people will suffer avoidable harm; and
  • fewer people will experience stigma and discrimination.

Further pledges include extra investment of up to £7.2 million to ensure the best treatment possible for veterans with mental health problems; and ensuring that by 2014 people in contact with the criminal justice system will have improved access to mental health services.

The No health without mental health strategy, a cross-Government mental health outcomes strategy for people of all ages, is the second of a number of outcomes strategies published following on from the White Paper, Equity and excellence: Liberating the NHS.

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