Check out Centre Forum’s Atlas of Variation on Mental Health

Phrenology head - mental health - Some rights reserved by evansvilleYesterday, Paul Burstow told us about the report published by the Mental Health Commission he chaired.

A few days earlier, Centre Forum produced a detailed and significant accompanying piece of work, an Atlas of Variation showing differences in prevalence, treatment and recovery from mental health conditions across England. The research, which you can read in full here,  shows huge variations in services in different parts of the country. Have a look and see where it’s a good place to have a mental illness and where you have to suffer unnecessarily as a result of poor provision.

Its conclusion shows that despite the Government’s strategy to improve mental health treatment and services, this isn t yet being felt on the ground in many places:

From this work, it has become apparent that unwarranted variation is prevalent across indicators relevant to health outcomes, activity, quality and safety. Possible reasons for this disparity may be due to commissioning and funding structures. A project commissioned jointly by the Centre for Mental Health, Rethink Mental Illness, Mind and the Mental Health Foundation found that the government’s national strategy was generally well regarded but was having little impact upon commissioning decision making at a local level.2

Furthermore, the Centre for Mental Health reviewed the mental health priorities across HWBs and found unsatisfactory results.3
: Less than half of HWBs (45%) set mental health as a specific, standalone priority; 46% addressed at least one area of mental health as one element in a broader mix; 9% did not include mental health at all.

: The most commonly addressed single issue was the mental health need of children and young people but even that, 55%, was barely over half. Lower still were the proportions of mental health need related strategies addressing employment (41%), alcohol and smoking (19%), housing (20%).

The Sunday Times (£) covered it  this week and included a quote from Paul Burstow:

The study reveals stark differences in the treatment of mental health, with northern areas tending to receive less support. It also found that people in some areas were almost four times more likely to die from a mental illness than those in other places.

Paul Burstow, the Liberal Democrat MP and former health minister, who chaired the mental health commission set up by CentreForum, said: “This report will challenge health professionals in those parts of the country which are so far off the game when it comes to delivering anything like a decent mental health service.



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One Comment

  • “see where it’s a good place to have a mental illness”
    There are no good places to have a mental illness. It is a descent into hell.

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