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Mental health strategy 'not robust'

The government's mental health strategy has been criticised as strong on vision but weak on robust outcomes and direction by a policy expert.

The coalition's mental health strategy, 'No health without mental health' was published in February 2011, which aimed to 'mainstream mental health so that it becomes as important to people as their physical health'. The report's key objectives include that:

  • More people will have good mental health
  • More people with mental health conditions will recover
  • More people will have a positive experience of care and support.

Steve Shrubb, Mental Health Network Director at the NHS Confederation warned that if mental health services are subject to aggressive cuts with frontline staff losing their jobs, vulnerable groups will suffer.

With the lack of a proper implementation plan and the likelihood of cuts being made locally, Mr Shrubb said that the government needs to be held accountable on the key messages of the strategy for it to be effective, and that decisions must be made centrally, rather than locally, to help protect services.

Mr Shrubb delivered the keynote speech at the Royal College of Nursing conference, Mental Health Nursing - an effective intervention?, in London earlier today.