Prior to the approval and subsequent introduction of new mental health provision in the UK, the government must first ensure that any proposals abide by strict legislation. Whilst this legislation is finalised by government bodies, it is guided by organisations involved in mental health (i.e., the drivers of legislation.) Such drivers are comprised of government bodies (NHS, Public Health England, Department for Education, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence), as well as organisations (King’s Fund, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Mind.)
Let’s take a more detailed look into some of the key drivers of mental health provision in the UK:
The National Health Service is the UK’s government funded health care service which deals with both mental and physical health. NHS services can be accessed in numerous ways, whether that be through GP’s and hospitals, or via specialist mental health services.
- Public Health England
Public Health England carry out the policy and strategy set by the department of Health and Social Care, with their aim being to prevent mental ill health in otherwise healthy individuals, and to improve the lives of those already living with mental ill health.
- The Department for Education
Responsible for education in the UK, the Department for Education sets the agenda for schools, ensuring that every student is taught about mental health. They also work with schools to collect data about mental health in their pupils.
- National Institute for Health and Care Excellence
NICE provide guidance on mental health provision and are responsible for setting out quality standards to health professionals.
- The King’s Fund
An independent charity working to improve healthcare in England, the King’s Fund undertake research and produce reports on health issues. With their research, they provide consultancy and advisory services to several official organisations, including the UK government.
- The Joseph Rowntree Foundation
A social change organisation primarily concerned with addressing poverty, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation is keen to raise greater awareness of the link between mental health and poverty, and they do so by producing reports on poverty related issues.
Mental health charities such as Mind communicate with the government on behalf of individuals experiencing mental ill health. By collecting information regarding mental health, the lives of those struggling with mental health problems can be improved.
All of the drivers which I have identified above work together to ensure that every mental health provision in the UK is of the highest and most effective standard as possible.
It is thanks to the organisations and government bodies listed in todays post that mental health is no longer stigmatised in our society, but is seen as something that is equally as important as physical health which, of course, it most certainly is.