The King's Fund welcomes honest mental health report

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The King's Fund today welcomed the National Director for Mental Health's mid-term report on the government's 10 year National Service Framework for mental health, but says more still needs to be done to address the wider mental health needs of the community.

The King's Fund Senior Policy Adviser in Mental Health, Simon Lawton Smith, said:

'We would be among the first to applaud the government for raising the profile of mental health over the past five years. The National Service Framework, which sets out a plan for mental health services throughout England, has played a significant part in this and it is very good to have an honest report about what has, or hasn't been achieved.

'But, we know from numerous recent studies that mental health services still fail too many people, too much of the time. For example, the very poor environment of some of our in-patient wards, the lack of appropriate accommodation for people with mental health needs in the community, the long waits for talking therapies and the number of people who take their own lives in prison.'

The King's Fund welcomes Health Minister Rosie Winterton's announcement of £30 million in new funding for mental health services. Simon Lawton Smith, said:

'It's good to have new money for mental health. But, given the National Director is talking about broadening the focus from specialist services to the mental health needs of the community, wouldn't it be even better if we had £30 million more for mental health promotion, and supporting people with mental health needs find decent homes and jobs? That really would be sending out the right message.'

Notes to editors

1. For further information or interviews, please contact The King's Fund media and public relations office on 020 7307 2585.

2. The King's Fund is an independent charitable foundation working for better health, especially in London. We carry out research, policy analysis and development activities, working on our own, in partnerships, and through grants. We are a major resource to people working in health, offering leadership and education courses; seminars and workshops; publications; information and library services; and conference and meeting facilities.