Commenting on the publication of the draft bill on Mental Health Act reform and the government’s announcement of better mental health support, Sarb Bajwa, Chief Executive of the BPS said:
“We welcome the publication of the draft bill on Mental Health Act reform and the announcement of new funding for mental health services. However it is not enough just to provide help when people are at crisis point, we need to help them before they reach rock bottom through properly funded early intervention and prevention services.
It is encouraging that the government is looking to address the unacceptable trend of people with severe mental health difficulties ending up in the criminal justice system, and those with a learning disability or autistic people being detained under the mental health act. The introduction of a duty on commissioners to have adequate community services is a welcome step, however we need adequate funding for local authorities in order for this to be achievable.
These moves from the government to increase funding for mental health services are promising and are a small step towards achieving parity of esteem between physical and mental health, but we are under no illusion that without addressing the huge gaps in the mental health workforce and without a large increase in funding, NHS mental health services will continue to struggle to overcome the shortfall in care for those who need it most.”
The BPS will respond to the draft mental health bill when it is published. You can read the society’s submission to the consultation on Reforming the Mental Health Act.