This site is intended for health professionals only

"Bold leadership" needed to improve mental health services

Mental health service providers have called on the incoming NHS England chief executive to not "underestimate" the need to focus on mental health. 

The NHS Confederation's Mental Health Network (MHN) is calling for Simon Stevens to demonstrate a commitment to parity between mental health and physical health. 

At its 2014 annual conference, which focuses on the future of mental health over the next 20 years, the network said the pledge on parity of mental and physical health must be matched with parity of funding.

Chief executive of the Mental Health Network Stephen Dalton said: “Mental health services are at a tipping point. After decades of transformational change and improving care within resources available, it's now time for the government to play its part and recognise the importance of mental health.”

A report being released at the annual conference calls for "bold leadership" to address a significant projected gap in investment between mental and physical health. 

The paper sets out challenges facing mental health and mental health services, including demographic changes and economic challenges.